large as life
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as large as life
Present before someone, often surprisingly so. Oh, I saw grandma today. I turned the corner at the grocery store, and there she was, as large as life!
*large as life
Fig. in person; actually, and sometimes surprisingly, present at a place. (*Also: as ~.) I thought Jack was away, but there he was as large as life. Jean was not expected to appear, but she turned up large as life.
large as life
Also, larger than life. See big as life.
large as lifeBRITISH, AMERICAN or
big as lifeAMERICAN
If you say that someone is somewhere, large as life, you mean that you are surprised and sometimes shocked to see them there. And now she was back, large as life, to claim her inheritance. Amos walked big as life into the diner and took his time over the menu.
large as life(of a person) conspicuously present. informal
This expression was originally used literally, with reference to the size of a statue or portrait relative to the original: in the mid 18th century Horace Walpole described a painting as being ‘as large as the life’. The humorous mid 19th-century elaboration of the expression, large as life and twice as natural , used by Lewis Carroll and others, is still sometimes found; it is attributed to the Canadian humorist T. C. Haliburton ( 1796–1865 ).
(as) large as ˈlife(humorous) used of somebody who is seen in person, often unexpectedly: I thought she’d left the country, but there she was, large as life, in the supermarket!
large as/larger than life, as
Life-size, appearing to be real; on a grand scale. The first expression may be an English version of a much older Latin saying, ad vivum, or “to the life.” It dates from the late eighteenth century, when it appeared in Maria Edgeworth’s Lame Jervas (1799): “I see the puppets, the wheelbarrows, everything as large as life.” In the nineteenth century a number of writers not only used the term but added to it, “and quite as natural.” Among them were Cuthbert Bede (1853), Lewis Carroll (in Through the Looking Glass, 1871), and George Bernard Shaw (1893). A similar addition, essentially meaningless, was “and twice as natural.” The second version, larger than life, conveys the idea of being on a grand or heroic scale. A less alliterative form, big as life, is sometimes used.