\ˈbretth, ˈbredth, nonstandard ˈbreth \

Definition of breadth 

1 : distance from side to side : width the height, breadth, and depth of each piece of furniture

2 : something of full width begin with a breadth of silk

3a : comprehensive quality : scope the breadth of his learning

b : liberality of views or taste breadth of mind

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Other Words from breadth

breadthwise \ˈbretth-​ˌwīz, ˈbredth-​, nonstandard ˈbreth-​ \ adverb or adjective

Examples of breadth in a Sentence

We measured the height, breadth, and depth of each piece of furniture. a great breadth of land awaited those who were brave and hardy enough to settle it

Recent Examples on the Web

Unikrn hopes to widen the breadth of wagers available, capitalizing on the fact that most esports lend themselves well to prop bets and in-game wagering. Jake Seiner, The Seattle Times, "Esports integrity chief concerned about Fortnite gambling," 21 Nov. 2018 Jeff Goldblum, Millie Bobbie Brown, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Sanders, and Timothée Chalamet are all CK acolytes—if that doesn’t prove the breadth of his vision than consider this: Simons took both Gwyneth Paltrow and ASAP Rocky to the Met Gala in 2017. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Odell Beckham Jr. Is Winning at Life in This Buttery Calvin Klein Suit," 13 Nov. 2018 The Duchess of Sussex has shown the breadth of her wardrobe during her royal tour of the Pacific, ranging from a memorial-appropriate dress (worn with a fascinator, of course) to eco-friendly sneakers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Isn't the Only Royal Who's Worn a Leg Slit," 23 Oct. 2018 Ollie wasn’t fired for the depth and breadth of alleged allegations. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: UConn's Case Against Kevin Ollie Firm By Contract Terms, Flimsy By Common Sense," 21 June 2018 But Lewis' critics charge that his recommendation for a takeover fails to acknowledge the breadth of progress achieved in JCPS since the local board tapped Pollio as interim leader last summer. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS board will fight back against state takeover in appeal," 29 May 2018 After the affair ends, Scott loudly recounts its details in pubs, police stations and courthouses across the length and breadth of Britain. Stephen Benedict Dyson, Washington Post, "Tired of American news? ‘A Very English Scandal’ plunges you into 1970s British social repression and political ambition.," 3 July 2018 The pair drop down into 29 towns across the U.S.A.’s length and breadth, soft landing at the local airport and fanning out to sample the local institutions, industries and attitudes. Barry Singer, USA TODAY, "In 'Our Towns,' married authors crisscross America to take 'fresh look' at USA," 8 May 2018 Although there are some who rejoice in his death, there are millions across the length and breadth of this world who are smitten with grief that this friend of mankind — all mankind — has been cut down in the flower of his youth. Time Staff, Time, "Only One Official Eulogy Was Delivered at Martin Luther King Jr.'s Public Funeral. Read the Full Text Here," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breadth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of breadth

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for breadth

Middle English breadeth, breth, from brede breadth (from Old English brǣdu, from brād broad) + -th (as in lengthe length)

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Statistics for breadth

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for breadth

The first known use of breadth was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for breadth



English Language Learners Definition of breadth

: the distance from one side to the other side of something

: the quality of including many things : the wide scope or range of something


\ˈbredth \

Kids Definition of breadth

1 : distance measured from side to side

2 : scope sense 2 the breadth of the investigation

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Comments on breadth

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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