at large

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See also: at-large


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English at large (at liberty or freedom) (compare Middle English ben at large (to be at one's liberty, be free)). Compare Old French au large (“at liberty” and other senses).

Prepositional phrase[edit]

at large

  1. (idiomatic) On the loose; roaming freely; not confined.
    For a nervous twenty-four hours, three wanted criminals were at large in the city.
    The ambassador-at-large was designated to the Middle East as a region, rather than to a specific country.
  2. (obsolete) In full, fully.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , vol.I, New York 2001, p.236:
      The like example I find in Lælius à Fonte Eugubinus, consult. 129 […]. Read in him the story at large.
  3. In general; as a whole.
    Some people support the measure, but the community at large will probably be against it.
  4. (US, politics, of an election) Having an electorate across multiple districts.
    The city has five city council districts; however, the mayor is elected at large.