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verb \ˈspred\

Simple Definition of spread

  • : to open, arrange, or place (something) over a large area

  • : to place (things) over a large area

  • : to become larger or to affect a larger area : to move into more places

Full Definition of spread


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to open or expand over a larger area <spread out the map>b :  to stretch out :  extend <spread its wings for flight>

  3. 2a :  to distribute over an area <spread fertilizer>b :  to distribute over a period or among a group <spread the work over a few weeks>c :  to apply on a surface <spread butter on bread>d (1) :  to cover or overlay something with <spread the cloth on the table> (2) archaic :  to cover completelye (1) :  to prepare or furnish for dining :  set <spread the table> (2) :  serve <spread the afternoon tea>

  4. 3a :  to make widely known <spread the news>b :  to extend the range or incidence of <spread a disease>c :  diffuse, emit <flowers spreading their fragrance>

  5. 4 :  to push apart by weight or force

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1a :  to become dispersed, distributed, or scatteredb :  to become known or disseminated <panic spread rapidly>

  8. 2 :  to grow in length or breadth :  expand

  9. 3 :  to move apart (as from pressure or weight) :  separate

spread·abil·i·ty play \ˌspre-də-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
spread·able play \ˈspre-də-bəl\ adjective

Examples of spread

  1. The newspaper was spread across his lap.

  2. Her notes were spread all over the desk.

  3. Help me spread the cloth on the table.

  4. We spread fertilizer on our yard.

  5. The seeds are spread by wind, birds, and animals.

  6. The fire spread quickly through the building.

  7. The cancer has spread to her throat.

  8. The use of computer technology has spread into all fields of work.

  9. The odor spread throughout the room.

  10. The fashion quickly spread from France to England.

Origin of spread

Middle English spreden, from Old English -sprǣdan; akin to Old High German spreiten to spread

First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with spread




Simple Definition of spread

  • : growth or increase that causes something to cover a larger area, affect a larger number of people, etc.

  • : a soft food that is spread on bread, crackers, etc.

  • : the total distance between the two outer edges of something

Full Definition of spread

  1. 1a :  the act or process of spreadingb :  extent of spreading

  2. 2 :  something spread out: asa :  a surface area :  expanseb (1) :  a ranch or homestead especially in the western United States (2) West :  a herd of animalsc (1) :  a prominent display in a periodical (2) :  two facing pages (as of a newspaper) usually with matter running across the fold; also :  the matter occupying these pages

  3. 3 :  something spread on or over a surface: asa :  a food to be spread (as on bread or crackers) <a cheese spread>b :  a sumptuous meal :  feastc :  a cloth cover for a table or bed

  4. 4 :  distance between two points :  gap

  5. 5 :  a commodities market transaction in which a participant hedges with simultaneous long and short options in different commodities or different delivery dates in the same commodity

Examples of spread

  1. She offered crackers and a cheese spread.

  2. He uses low-fat spread on his toast.


First Known Use of spread


SPREAD Defined for Kids



verb \ˈspred\

Definition of spread


  1. 1 :  to stretch out :  extend <I spread my arms wide.>

  2. 2 :  to pass or cause to pass from person to person <The news spread rapidly.> <Flies can spread disease.>

  3. 3 :  to open or arrange over a larger area <The captain spread out a map.>

  4. 4 :  to increase in size or occurrence <The fire keeps spreading.> <Cell phone use spread quickly.>

  5. 5 :  to scatter or be scattered <spread fertilizer>

  6. 6 :  to give out over a period of time or among a group <The boss spread work to make it last.>

  7. 7 :  to put or have a layer of on a surface <He spread butter on bread.>

  8. 8 :  to cover something with <Mom spread a cloth on the table.>

  9. 9 :  to stretch or move apart <I spread my fingers open.>

  10. 10 :  to prepare for a meal :  set <The table was spread for dinner.>




Definition of spread

  1. 1 :  the act or process of increasing in size, amount, or occurrence <the spread of education>

  2. 2 :  the distance between two points that are farthest to each side <the spread of a bird's wings>

  3. 3 :  a noticeable display in a magazine or newspaper

  4. 4 :  a food to be put over the surface of bread or crackers <cheese spread>

  5. 5 :  a very fine meal :  feast

  6. 6 :  a cloth cover for a table or bed

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up spread? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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