Wide vs. Large — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 17, 2023
Wide refers to the extent or measurement from side to side; Large relates to the overall size, volume, or extent of an object or group.
Difference Between Wide and Large
Table of Contents
Wide typically describes the extent of an object from one side to the other, emphasizing breadth. Large, on the other hand, is a more general term that indicates the overall magnitude, capacity, or extent of an object.
Wide can specifically refer to measurements like the width of a road or the wingspan of a bird. Large, meanwhile, might be used to describe the total area of a country, the volume of a container, or the number of items in a collection.
When we describe something as wide, we are concentrating on its horizontal dimension or breadth. For instance, a river might be wide, indicating a substantial distance between its banks. Conversely, when we use large, we are talking about its overall size, not confined to any particular dimension. A large river might refer not just to its width but also its length, depth, or volume of water it carries.
Wide can also be used in a more figurative manner to depict variety or scope, such as a wide range of products. Large can be similarly used to indicate significance or degree, as in a large impact on the community.
Extent from side to side.
Overall size, volume, or extent.
Horizontal dimension or breadth.
No specific dimension; can be height, width, volume, etc.
Scope or variety (e.g., wide range of options).
Significance or degree (e.g., large impact).
The room is ten feet wide.
The container is large enough to store 50 gallons.
Compare with Definitions
Having a significant extent from side to side.
The door is too wide to fit the frame.
Of greater size than the average or usual.
He wore a large shirt.
Fully open or extended.
He opened his eyes wide in surprise.
Expressing or involving significance.
The decision had a large impact on the company.
Including many or much.
The project has wide implications for the community.
At liberty or free from confinement.
The fugitive is still at large.
Of great or more than average width
A wide road
Of considerable or relatively great size, extent, or capacity
Add a large clove of garlic
The concert attracted large crowds
The jumper comes in small, medium, and large sizes
Including a great variety of people or things
A wide range of opinion
His wide circle of friends
Of wide range or scope
We can afford to take a larger view of the situation
At a considerable or specified distance from an intended point or target
The ball was wide of the leg stump
Enjoy oneself in a lively way with drink or drugs and music
He's known in clubland for his capacity for larging it
To the full extent
His eyes opened wide
Another term for free (sense 2 of the adverb)
Far from a particular or intended point or target
His final touchline conversion drifted wide
Of greater than average size, extent, quantity, or amount; big.
A ball that is judged to be too wide of the stumps for the batsman to play, for which an extra is awarded to the batting side.
Of greater than average scope, breadth, or capacity; comprehensive.
Having a specified extent from side to side
A ribbon two inches wide.
Had a large role in the negotiations.
A large producer of paper goods.
Extending over a great distance from side to side; broad
A wide road.
A wide necktie.
Understanding and tolerant; liberal
A large and generous spirit.
Having great extent or range; including much or many
A wide selection.
Granting wide powers.
Of great magnitude or intensity; grand
“a rigid resistance to the large emotions” (Stephen Koch).
Fully open or extended
Look with wide eyes.
Pretentious; boastful. Used of speech or manners.
To the side of or at a distance from a given boundary, limit, or goal
A shot that was wide of the target.
(Obsolete) Gross; coarse. Used of speech or language.
(Nautical) Favorable. Used of a wind.
(Sports) Being toward or near one of the side boundaries of a playing area, such as a sideline on a football field.
(Slang) A thousand dollars
Bought a speedboat for 50 large.
Deviating or straying from something expected or specified
A remark that was wide of the truth.
Of considerable or relatively great size or extent.
Russia is a large country.
The fruit-fly has large eyes for its body size.
He has a large collection of stamps.
That is large the manufactured size.
Over a great distance; extensively
Traveled far and wide.
(obsolete) Abundant; ample.
To the full extent; completely.
(archaic) Full in statement; diffuse; profuse.
To the side of or at a distance from a given boundary, limit, or goal.
(obsolete) Free; unencumbered.
(Sports) Toward or near one of the sides of a playing area
Ran wide to catch a pass.
(obsolete) Unrestrained by decorum; said of language.
A ball bowled outside of the batsman's reach, counting as a run for the batting team in cricket.
(nautical) Crossing the line of a ship's course in a favorable direction; said of the wind when it is abeam, or between the beam and the quarter.
Having a large physical extent from side to side.
We walked down a wide corridor.
An old musical note, equal to two longas, four breves, or eight semibreves.
Large in scope.
The inquiry had a wide remit.
(obsolete) Liberality, generosity.
(sports) Operating at the side of the playing area.
That team needs a decent wide player.
A thousand dollars/pounds.
Getting a car tricked out like that will cost you 50 large.
On one side or the other of the mark; too far sideways from the mark, the wicket, the batsman, etc.
An item labelled or denoted as being that size.
One small coffee and two larges, please.
Made, as a vowel, with a less tense, and more open and relaxed, condition of the organs in the mouth.
One who fits an item of that size.
Vast, great in extent, extensive.
The wide, lifeless expanse.
(nautical) Before the wind.
(obsolete) Located some distance away; distant, far.
Exceeding most other things of like kind in bulk, capacity, quantity, superficial dimensions, or number of constituent units; big; great; capacious; extensive; - opposed to small; as, a large horse; a large house or room; a large lake or pool; a large jug or spoon; a large vineyard; a large army; a large city.
(obsolete) Far from truth, propriety, necessity, etc.
Abundant; ample; as, a large supply of provisions.
We have yet large day.
(computing) Of or supporting a greater range of text characters than can fit into the traditional 8-bit representation.
A wide character; a wide stream
Full in statement; diffuse; full; profuse.
I might be very large upon the importance and advantages of education.
Having more than usual power or capacity; having broad sympathies and generous impulses; comprehensive; - said of the mind and heart.
He travelled far and wide.
Of burdens all he set the Paynims large.
He was wide awake.
Unrestrained by decorum; - said of language.
Away from or to one side of a given goal
The arrow fell wide of the mark.
A few shots were fired but they all went wide.
Prodigal in expending; lavish.
So as to leave or have a great space between the sides; so as to form a large opening.
Crossing the line of a ship's course in a favorable direction; - said of the wind when it is abeam, or between the beam and the quarter.
(cricket) A ball that passes so far from the batsman that the umpire deems it unplayable; the arm signal used by an umpire to signal a wide; the extra run added to the batting side's score
Having considerable distance or extent between the sides; spacious across; much extended in a direction at right angles to that of length; not narrow; broad; as, wide cloth; a wide table; a wide highway; a wide bed; a wide hall or entry.
The chambers and the stables weren wyde.
Wide is the gate . . . that leadeth to destruction.
A musical note, formerly in use, equal to two longs, four breves, or eight semibreves.
Having a great extent every way; extended; spacious; broad; vast; extensive; as, a wide plain; the wide ocean; a wide difference.
For sceptered cynics earth were far too wide a den.
When the wide bloom, on earth that lies,Seems of a brighter world than ours.
A garment size for a large person
Of large scope; comprehensive; liberal; broad; as, wide views; a wide understanding.
Men of strongest head and widest culture.
Above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent;
A large city
Set out for the big city
A large sum
A big (or large) barn
A large family
A big expenditure
A large number of newspapers
A big group of scientists
Large areas of the world
Of a certain measure between the sides; measuring in a direction at right angles to that of length; as, a table three feet wide.
Fairly large or important in effect; influential;
Played a large role in the negotiations
Remote; distant; far.
The contrary being so wide from the truth of Scripture and the attributes of God.
Large enough to be visible to the naked eye
Far from truth, from propriety, from necessity, or the like.
It is far wide that the people have such judgments.
How wide is all this long pretense !
Ostentatiously lofty in style;
A man given to large talk
Tumid political prose
On one side or the other of the mark; too far side-wise from the mark, the wicket, the batsman, etc.
Surely he shoots wide on the bow hand.
I was but two bows wide.
Generous and understanding and tolerant;
A heart big enough to hold no grudges
That's very big of you to be so forgiving
A large and generous spirit
A large heart
Magnanimous toward his enemies
Made, as a vowel, with a less tense, and more open and relaxed, condition of the mouth organs; - opposed to primary as used by Mr. Bell, and to narrow as used by Mr. Sweet. The effect, as explained by Mr. Bell, is due to the relaxation or tension of the pharynx; as explained by Mr. Sweet and others, it is due to the action of the tongue. The wide of ē (ēve) is ĭ (ĭll); of ā (āte) is ĕ (ĕnd), etc. See Guide to Pronunciation, 13-15.
Conspicuous in position or importance;
A big figure in the movement
Big man on campus
He's very large in financial circles
A prominent citizen
Having or showing a wide difference between the highest and lowest price, amount of supply, etc.; as, a wide opening; wide prices, where the prices bid and asked differ by several points.
Having broad power and range and scope;
Taking the large view
A large effect
A large sympathy
To a distance; far; widely; to a great distance or extent; as, his fame was spread wide.
[I] went wyde in this world, wonders to hear.
In an advanced stage of pregnancy;
Was big with child
Was great with child
So as to leave or have a great space between the sides; so as to form a large opening.
At a distance, wide of something (as of a mark)
So as to be or strike far from, or on one side of, an object or purpose; aside; astray.
With the wind abaft the beam;
A ship sailing large
That which is wide; wide space; width; extent.
In a boastful manner;
He talked big all evening
That which goes wide, or to one side of the mark.
Encompassing a great number or quantity.
A large audience attended the concert.
Having great (or a certain) extent from one side to the other;
A wide necktie
Three feet wide
A river two miles broad
A broad river
Magnanimous or generous in behavior or disposition.
He has a large heart and always helps others.
Broad in scope or content;
Across-the-board pay increases
An all-embracing definition
Blanket sanctions against human-rights violators
An invention with broad applications
A panoptic study of Soviet nationality
Granted him wide powers
(used of eyes) fully open or extended;
Listened in round-eyed wonder
Stared with wide eyes
Very large in expanse or scope;
A broad lawn
The wide plains
A spacious view
Great in degree;
Won by a wide margin
Great in range or scope;
An extended vocabulary
Surgeons with extended experience
Extensive examples of picture writing
Suffered extensive damage
A wide selection
Having ample fabric;
The current taste for wide trousers
A full skirt
Not on target;
The kick was wide
The arrow was wide of the mark
A claim that was wide of the truth
With or by a broad space;
Stand with legs wide apart
Ran wide around left end
To the fullest extent possible;
Open your eyes wide
With the throttle wide open
Far from the intended target;
The arrow went wide of the mark
A bullet went astray and killed a bystander
To or over a great extent or range; far;
Wandered wide through many lands
He traveled widely
Covering a large number or wide scope.
The store has a wide selection of products.
Far from a target point or mark.
The ball went wide of the goal.
Can "Wide" be used to describe a variety or scope?
Yes, "Wide" can be used figuratively to indicate a broad scope, like a "wide range of options."
Is "Large" only about physical size?
No, "Large" can also indicate significance or degree, such as having a "large impact."
Does "Wide" mainly refer to breadth?
Yes, "Wide" typically refers to the extent of something from one side to the other.
Is "Large" specific to any one dimension like width, height, or depth?
No, "Large" is a general term that can relate to any dimension or overall size.
Which word, "Wide" or "Large," would best describe the breadth of a table?
"Wide" would be more appropriate to describe the breadth of a table.
Can "Wide" be used to indicate something missed by a significant margin?
Yes, in contexts like sports, "Wide" can mean missing a target by a noticeable margin.
Would "Large" be appropriate to describe extensive land?
Yes, "Large" can describe the overall size or extent of an area, like "large tract of land."
Can "Wide" and "Large" be used interchangeably?
Not always. While they both can indicate size, "Wide" often specifies breadth, while "Large" is more general.
Is a "Wide river" necessarily a "Large river"?
Not necessarily. A "Wide river" emphasizes breadth, while a "Large river" could refer to length, volume, or overall size.
How does "Large" differ from "Tall"?
"Large" refers to overall size, while "Tall" specifically indicates height.
If a container can hold a lot, is it "Wide" or "Large"?
It would be described as "Large" in terms of its capacity.
Can "Wide" be used to mean far off the mark?
Yes, for instance, in sports, a shot can be described as going "wide" if it misses the intended target by a significant distance.
Which word, "Wide" or "Large," would best describe the expanse of the sky?
Both can be used, but "Wide" would emphasize the breadth of the sky, while "Large" its overall vastness.
Can "Wide" be used in a context of openness?
Yes, for instance, "eyes opened wide" indicates full openness.
In what context might "Large" imply significance rather than size?
In phrases like "large role" or "large influence," "Large" indicates significance or importance.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.