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prendre le large

The informal French expression “prendre le large” translates literally to “to take the open sea”. As a noun, le large describes the high seas.

English meaning:

  • to run off
  • to hightail it
  • to sail off, to sail away

French meaning:

  • s’éloigner, partir – to get away, leave

Example sentences:

  • Le cambrioleur de banque a pris le large avec les les sacs d’argent. The bank robber ran off with the money bags.
  • L’Estonia a coulé quand elle a pris large dans la mer Baltique. The Estonia sank when it sailed into the Baltic Sea.

Related expressions:

prendre ses jambes à son cou – to make a run for it, run for your life

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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