from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adv. For the most part; generally: By and large, the play was a success.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adv. mostly, generally; with few exceptions
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adv. usually; as a rule
Earlier, to (the wind) and off it, in one direction and another (said of the manner of handling a sailing vessel) : by1, toward + large, with the wind abaft the beam.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From sailing: a ship may (or may not) sail well both close by the wind, and large, downwind, with sheets extended. (Wiktionary)