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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


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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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