\ ˈbrȯd How to pronounce broad (audio) \
broader; broadest

Definition of broad

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having ample extent from side to side or between limits broad shoulders … one of the broadest estuaries of any river in America.— William Styron
b : having a specified extension from side to side made the path 10 feet broad
2 : extending far and wide : spacious the broad plains
3 : relating to the main or essential points broad outlines
4a : open, full a crime committed in broad daylight
b : plain, obvious a broad hint
5 linguistics : dialectal especially in pronunciation a broad northern accent
6a : liberal, tolerant broad views
b : widely applicable or applied : general a broad rule the broader sense of the word
c : wide in range or amount This store has a broader selection of items. a politician with broad [=widespread] appeal There is broad agreement [=many people agree] that these changes are needed.
7 of a vowel : open used specifically of a pronounced as in father
8 : marked by lack of restraint, delicacy, or subtlety:
a : coarse, risqué broad humor
b obsolete : outspoken … from broad words … Macduff lives in disgrace.— Shakespeare



Definition of broad (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a broad (see broad entry 1 sense 4a) manner : fully broad awake



Definition of broad (Entry 3 of 3)

1 slang, often offensive : woman
2 British : an expansion of a river often used in plural

Other Words from broad


broadly adverb
He smiled broadly.
broadness noun
the broadness of the law's scope

Synonyms & Antonyms for broad

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for broad


broad, wide, deep mean having horizontal extent. broad and wide apply to a surface measured or viewed from side to side. a broad avenue wide is more common when units of measurement are mentioned rugs eight feet wide or applied to unfilled space between limits. a wide doorway broad is preferred when full horizontal extent is considered. broad shoulders deep may indicate horizontal extent away from the observer or from a front or peripheral point. a deep cupboard deep woods

Examples of broad in a Sentence

Adjective The store has a broad selection of coats. There was broad agreement on the new government. There are three broad categories of industry in the region: computers, finance, and education. the broad outlines of a problem discusses “family” in its broadest sense
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There has been broad bipartisan support for holding the event in Milwaukee, which was selected to host the 2020 Democratic convention that had to be moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CBS News, 5 Aug. 2022 Yet the film’s greatness lies as much in its grace notes as in its broad strokes. Peter Tonguette, WSJ, 29 July 2022 While there are some minor differences to be hashed out in conference committee negotiations by the end of the month, such as exactly who gets appointed to this commission, the House and Senate already agree on the broad strokes of the bill. Globe Staff,, 24 July 2022 Sam and Sadie’s brilliance is rendered in broad strokes. Wired, 20 July 2022 Alvaro Barreal has stepped forward as a kind of utility option for FC Cincinnati, and had a broad mandate as Acosta's replacement against the Whitecaps. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 16 July 2022 First, the broad strokes: In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 15.8 percent of American adults took prescription pills for mental health. New York Times, 9 July 2022 Comet stars have much more material and burn for a longer duration of time, creating broad strokes. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 30 June 2022 Paul Hong, professor of global supply chain management at the University of Toledo, argues that the $27 million won't sufficiently cover the broad mandate of the law or fully fund efforts to track and manage the flow of goods coming into the U.S. Fortune, 18 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Friday’s gains were broad-based, with nine of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors advancing. Karen Langley, WSJ, 29 July 2022 The jump in consumer prices was broad-based, including rent, medical care, and new and used vehicles. Alain Sherter, CBS News, 18 July 2022 Influence is a broad-ranging skill often focused downward in a company. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 The Vanguard fund benefits from the lowest expense ratio (the portion of returns that go to the fund company, and not to you) of the three, at 0.12%, and has a broad-ranging portfolio covering most of the REIT field. Larry Light, Fortune, 14 Apr. 2022 The report notes, yet again, that inflation is broad-based, as Americans have no doubt noticed. The Editors, National Review, 14 July 2022 As this is a regional challenge, the solutions must be broad-based, and opportunity must be provided throughout the region. John Laidler,, 13 July 2022 But the gains were broad-based, with everything from rent to motor vehicle costs increasing at the fastest pace in decades. Rob Wile, NBC News, 13 July 2022 Inflation in June was also very broad-based, with core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rising 5.9% compared to a year ago. Will Daniel, Fortune, 13 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of broad


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1659, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for broad


Middle English brood, from Old English brād; akin to Old High German breit broad


Middle English broode, from Old English brāde, adverbial derivative of brād broad entry 1


Middle English brood, noun derivative of brood broad entry 1

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Time Traveler for broad

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The first known use of broad was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near broad

broach turner



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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Broad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for broad


\ ˈbrȯd How to pronounce broad (audio) \
broader; broadest

Kids Definition of broad

1 : not narrow : wide a broad stripe
2 : extending far and wide : spacious broad prairies
3 : complete entry 1 sense 1, full broad daylight
4 : not limited a broad choice of subjects
5 : covering only the main points : general a broad explanation

Other Words from broad

broadly adverb

Broad geographical name

\ ˈbrȯd How to pronounce Broad (audio) \

Definition of Broad

1 river 220 miles (354 kilometers) long in North Carolina and South Carolina — see saluda
2 river 70 miles (113 kilometers) long in southern South Carolina flowing into the Atlantic

More from Merriam-Webster on broad

Nglish: Translation of broad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of broad for Arabic Speakers


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