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1. free; uncaptured. (Usually said of criminals not in custody.) At noon, the day after the robbery, the thieves were still at large. There is a murderer at large in the city!
2. in general; according to a general sample. Truck drivers at large don't like the new speed restriction on the highway. Students at large felt that discipline was too strict.
3. representing the whole group rather than its subsections. (Always refers to a special kind of elective office.) He ran for representative at large. She represented shareholders at large on the governing board.
1. most of The public at large doesn't take the problem seriously. Related vocabulary: in general
2. not in prison Police arrested one man, but the other suspects in the robbery are still at large.
1. Free, unconfined, especially not confined in prison, as in To our distress, the housebreakers were still at large. [1300s]
2. At length, fully; also, as a whole, in general. For example, The chairman talked at large about the company's plans for the coming year, or, as Shakespeare wrote in Love's Labour's Lost (1:1): "So to the laws at large I write my name" (that is, I uphold the laws in general). This usage is somewhat less common. [1400s]
3. Elected to represent an entire group of voters rather than those in a particular district or other segment-for example, alderman at large, representing all the wards of a city instead of just one, or delegate at large to a labor union convention. [Mid-1700s]
1. Not in confinement or captivity; at liberty: a convict still at large.
2. As a whole; in general: the country at large.
3. Representing a nation, state, or district as a whole. Often used in combination: councilor-at-large.
4. Not assigned to a particular country. Often used in combination: ambassador-at-large.
5. At length; copiously.