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1. Roaming freely, as of a criminal who has not been caught. The robbery suspect is still at large and is considered very dangerous.
2. As a whole; in general. That change in curriculum has not been accepted by the teachers at large.
3. Representative of the whole, rather than smaller groups, as of certain elected offices. Who has been elected to act for the community at large?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1 (after a noun) as a whole, in general: The public at large does not know enough about this problem.
2 (of a dangerous person or animal) free; not captured: Her killer is still at large. OPPOSITE: under lock and key
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.