By and Large: When to Use the Helpful Term “By And Large”

Last Updated on March 29, 2021

By and large or, by in large? In the below article, the definition of the phrase “by and large”, and the details of its origin can be found. You will also see samples of sentences and conversations that show the proper usage of this phrase in everyday communication and you will find some different ways to this phrase that still allow you to convey the same meaning.

By and Large

By and Large Meaning

The meaning of the phrase “by and large” or its misspelling – “by in large” is saying something is typical or general.

Origin of this idiom

First, it must be noted here that the phrase “by in large” is a common misspelling of the appropriate spelled phrase “by and large.” This term originated from sailing in the year 1669. The word “by” in this sense was used to mean that a ship was sailing close-hauled, or as directly into the wind as it possibly could be. The word “large” in this sense was used to mean the spot on the sails where the wind is hitting. A later spelling “by and large” appeared in a magazine and is attributed to giving the phrase the definition that we know it to be today.

“By And Large” Examples

Example Sentences

  • By and large, horror movies have become extremely predictable.
  • A majority of people, by and large, think that politicians are crooks and liars.
  • By and large, I enjoyed my time at school.
  • By and large, women can bear pain better than men.
  • By and large, they are quantitative measures, not qualitative.

Example Conversations

A conversation among two co-workers.

  • Co-worker 1: I wish we could go back to the way the company used to do things.
  • Co-worker 2: By and large, I have to agree with you. Although, I do like the convenience of the direct deposit.
  • Co-worker 1: Yeah, I don’t miss waiting in line at the bank on a Friday night to cash or deposit my check.

A conversation between two friends after going to see a movie.

  • Friend 1: I can’t believe that one girl in the movie ran to hide in the barn. I think it would be kind of obvious that’s not the place to hide with so many available weapons just lying around in there.
  • Friend 2: Yeah, well, by and large, chicks in horror flicks don’t make the wisest decisions.

Alternatives to “By And Large”

Some alternatives you can use in place of “by and large” that mean the same or something very similar include:

  • In general
  • Typically
  • Primarily
  • Generally

By And Large | Image

What Does “By And Large” Mean?

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