large

large, big, great mean above the average of its kind in magnitude, especially physical magnitude.
Large may be preferred when the dimensions, or extent, or capacity, or quantity, or amount is being considered
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a large lot

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a large hall

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a large basket

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a large meal

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a large allowance

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large crevasses and huge tunnels in many of them [icebergs] bore witness to a long voyage— Schytt

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Big, on the other hand, is especially appropriate when the emphasis is on bulk, or mass, or weight, or volume
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a big book

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a big pile

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the box is too big to carry

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a big voice

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so big already—so enormous in fact—that we named him Monstro, and he padded about like a furry whale— Atlantic

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As applied to material objects, great has been practically displaced by large or big. Where great is used to denote physical magnitude, it now regularly connotes some impression (as of wonder, surprise, amusement, or annoyance) associated with the size
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the great head that seemed so weighted down with thought and study— The Nation

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the great size of these figures—the largest man is 167 feet long . . . prevented their character from being recognized— Amer. Guide Series: Calif.

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his eyes were great and hollow, as a famished man forlorn— Morris

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Great alone, in standard English, expresses degree
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he was listened to with respect and, when aroused, with nearly as great fear— W. C. Ford

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great kindness

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great heat

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In extended use, great suggests eminence, distinction, or supremacy
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if we win men's hearts throughout the world, it will not be because we are a big country but because we are a great country. Bigness is imposing. But greatness is enduring— A. E. Stevenson

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while large suggests breadth, comprehensiveness, or generosity
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in intellect and humanity he is the largest type I have come across. Other greater men in my time were great in some one thing, not large in their very texture— Ricketts

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and big carries over the implication of mass or bulk but often suggests impressiveness or importance rather than solidity or great worth
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so-called big names, which are still big and still have great readership value, command high prices— Baldwin

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he didn't expect to work here all his life . . . pretty soon he'd have a new job and would be a big man— Granite

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Analogous words: vast, immense, enormous, *huge, mammoth, colossal, gigantic: tremendous, prodigious, monumental, stupendous, *monstrous: inordinate, *excessive, exorbitant, extreme, immoderate, extravagant
Antonyms: small
Contrasted words: little, diminutive, tiny, wee, minute (see SMALL): slight, slender, slim, *thin

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • large — large …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • large — [ larʒ ] adj., n. m. et adv. • XIe ; lat. largus « abondant; généreux », a remplacé latus, à cause de longus « long » I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui a une étendue supérieure à la moyenne dans le sens de la largeur. Une large avenue. Chapeau à larges bords.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • 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; big; great;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • large — [ lardʒ ] adjective *** bigger than usual in size: The house had an exceptionally large yard. Large crowds gather each year in St. Peter s Square to see the Pope. A large man with a long ginger beard stood in the doorway. a. used in clothing… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • large — [lärj] adj. larger, largest [OFr < L largus: see LARD] 1. Archaic liberal; generous 2. big; great; specif., a) taking up much space; bulky b) enclosing much space; spacious [a large office] …   English World dictionary

  • large — Large, Latus, Largus, Laxus. Large par le bas et allant en aguisant, Pyramidatus. Fort large, Perlatus. Fort large et spatieux, Spatiosus. Large outre mesure, Vastus. Un homme large, soit prodigue ou liberal, Largus. Trop large, Nimius. Devenir… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • large — 〈[la:(r)dʒ] Abk.: L〉 groß (als Kleidergröße) [engl.] * * * 1large [larʒ(ə) ] <Adj.> [frz. large < lat. largus = freigebig; reichlich] (bes. schweiz.): großzügig: der l. Schiedsrichter. 2large [la:ɐ̯d̮ʒ ] <indekl. Adj.> [engl. large …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Large — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Brian Large (* 1939), Fernsehregisseur von Opernübertragungen Josaphat Robert Large (* 1942), Dichter und Romancier Robert C. De Large (1842−1874), US amerikanischer Politiker Diese …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • large — large, largely Large is used as an adverb with the verbs bulk and loom and in the phrase by and large. Otherwise largely is the normal adverb and means ‘to a large extent’ (His failure was largely due to laziness) …   Modern English usage

  • large — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of considerable or relatively great size, extent, or capacity. 2) pursuing an occupation or activity on a significant scale. 3) of wide range or scope. ► VERB (large it) Brit. informal ▪ go out and have a good time. ● …   English terms dictionary

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