By and Large (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "By and Large"?

By and large means for the most part or on the whole.

By and large is a nautical term from the late 17th century, which stems from the practice of sailing by (which means close to the line of the wind) or sailing large (which means with the wind on the quarter). These sailing techniques were sufficient to keep the ship heading in approximately the right direction, but they were not very accurate.

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By and Large (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • By and large, the project was a success, with only a few minor setbacks along the way.
  • He had a few challenging moments, but by and large, he enjoyed his experience traveling abroad.
  • By and large, the feedback from customers has been positive, indicating satisfaction with the product.
  • There were a few exceptions, but by and large, the team worked well together and achieved their goals.
  • By and large, the conference was informative and well-organized, providing valuable insights for the attendees.

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This page was written by Craig Shrives.