at large
at large
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.

* * *
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. Not kept within walls, fences, or boundaries; free. * /The killer remained at large for weeks./ Compare: AT LIBERTY. * /Cattle and sheep roamed at large on the big ranch./ 2. In a broad, general way; at length; fully. * /The superintendent talked at large for an hour about his hopes for a new school building./ 3. As a group rather than as individuals; as a whole; taken together. * /The junior class at large was not interested in a senior yearbook./ 4. As a representative of a whole political unit or area rather than one of its parts; from a city rather than one of its wards, or a state rather than one of its districts. * /He was elected congressman at large./ * /Aldermen are voted for at large./

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • At-large — is a designation for representative members of a governing body who are elected or appointed to represent the whole membership of the body (for example, a city, state or province, nation, club or association), rather than a subset of that… …   Wikipedia

  • at large — {adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. Not kept within walls, fences, or boundaries; free. * /The killer remained at large for weeks./ Compare: AT LIBERTY. * /Cattle and sheep roamed at large on the big ranch./ 2. In a broad, general way; at length; fully. *… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • At large — Large Large (l[aum]rj), a. [Compar. {Larger} (l[aum]r j[ e]r); superl. {Largest}.] [F., fr. L. largus. Cf. {Largo}.] 1. Exceeding most other things of like kind in bulk, capacity, quantity, superficial dimensions, or number of constituent units;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At large — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • at large — phrasal 1. a. free of restraint or confinement < the escaped prisoner is still at large > b. without a specific subject or assignment < critic at large > 2. at length 3. in a general way 4. as a whole < society at large > 5 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • at-large — adjective Date: 1969 relating to or being a political representative who is elected to serve an entire area rather than one of its subdivisions < an at large city councilor > < an at large election > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • At-large bid — An at large bid is a bid or berth in a sporting tournament granted by invitation, not right. This term is most commonly used in the United States to refer to berths that the NCAA grants in its annual Division I men s and women s basketball… …   Wikipedia

  • Common at large — Large Large (l[aum]rj), a. [Compar. {Larger} (l[aum]r j[ e]r); superl. {Largest}.] [F., fr. L. largus. Cf. {Largo}.] 1. Exceeding most other things of like kind in bulk, capacity, quantity, superficial dimensions, or number of constituent units;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Electors at large — Large Large (l[aum]rj), a. [Compar. {Larger} (l[aum]r j[ e]r); superl. {Largest}.] [F., fr. L. largus. Cf. {Largo}.] 1. Exceeding most other things of like kind in bulk, capacity, quantity, superficial dimensions, or number of constituent units;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Representative at large — Large Large (l[aum]rj), a. [Compar. {Larger} (l[aum]r j[ e]r); superl. {Largest}.] [F., fr. L. largus. Cf. {Largo}.] 1. Exceeding most other things of like kind in bulk, capacity, quantity, superficial dimensions, or number of constituent units;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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