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larger than life

Use hyphens in phrases made up of three words or more when the phrases are used as adjectives before a noun (attributive adjectives).

  • Her larger-than-life personality contributed to her success as an actor.

However, do not use hyphens when the phrases are placed after the word they are describing.

  • Tourists in Florence are often surprised to find that Michelangelo’s David is so much larger than life.