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Excel LARGE Function

Excel LARGE function
Summary 

The Excel LARGE function returns a numeric value based on its position in a list when sorted by value in descending order. In other words, LARGE can retrieve the "nth largest" value – 1st largest value, 2nd largest value, 3rd largest value, etc.

Purpose 
Get nth largest value
Return value 
The nth largest value in an array.
Syntax 
=LARGE (array, k)
Arguments 
  • array - An array or range of numeric values.
  • k - Position as an integer, where 1 corresponds to the largest value.
Version 
Usage notes 

The LARGE function returns a numeric value based on its position in a list when sorted by value. In other words, LARGE returns the "nth largest" value in the list where 1 corresponds to the largest value, 2 corresponds to the second largest value, etc. For example, the LARGE function is useful when you want to retrieve first, second, or third highest scores for a test. 

The LARGE function takes two arguments, array and k. Array is an array or range of numeric values. The argument k represents position or rank. For example, to return the largest value in array, provide 1 for k. To return the fifth largest value in array, provide 5 for k.

To get nth smallest values, see the SMALL function.

Examples

In the formula below, the LARGE function returns the third largest value in a list of five numbers provided in an array constant:

=LARGE({29,14,33,19,17},3) // returns 19

Note values do not need to be sorted. To retrieve the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest values in a range:

=LARGE(range,1) // 1st largest value
=LARGE(range,2) // 2nd largest value
=LARGE(range,3) // 3rd largest value

In the example shown, the formulas in G5, G6, and G7 are, respectively:

=LARGE(D5:D16,1) // returns 92
=LARGE(D5:D16,2) // returns 89
=LARGE(D5:D16,3) // returns 86

See below for more advanced formulas based on the LARGE function.

Notes

  • LARGE ignores empty cells, text values, and TRUE and FALSE values.
  • If array contains no numeric values, LARGE returns a #NUM! error.
  • To determine the rank of a number in a data set, use the RANK function.

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