I was listening to the radio and something caught my attention. The news journalist made the comment, “The suspect is still at‑large.”
It got me thinking...
First, I can only assume that the proper spelling is “at‑large” instead of “at large” because using the adjective term “large” as a noun doesn’t make any sense in this context (at least in my head). Naturally I try googling it only to find further confusion in context of a suspect.
So, how did this term come to mean “out and about”, or “free”, or some other word(s) that would describe some suspect not in custody?