\ ˈbrȯd How to pronounce broad (audio) \

Definition of broad

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : having ample extent from side to side or between limits broad shoulders
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
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 4)

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



Definition of broad (Entry 3 of 4)

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


geographical name
\ ˈbrȯd How to pronounce Broad (audio) \

Definition of Broad (Entry 4 of 4)

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

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Other Words from broad


broadly adverb
broadness noun

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The recommendations from these investigations have in the past been ignored, the review found, or are sometimes so broad as to be meaningless. Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, "U.S. Marine Corps Concludes Its Investigation Into a Fatal 2018 Midair Crash Was Inaccurate," 2 July 2020 The offenses listed under the new law are also broad in scope -- attacking government facilities can be considered subversion, while damaging public transport can be regarded as an act of terrorism. Nectar Gan, CNN, "How the national security law is bringing China's authoritarian legal system to Hong Kong," 2 July 2020 The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, marks the first Texas effort in roughly 40 years to test the legitimacy of the anti-rioting statute, arguing that the law is overly broad and can snare innocent people. Miles Moffeit, Dallas News, "Dallas protesters challenge constitutionality of Texas’ anti-riot law in suit, saying they were falsely arrested," 30 June 2020 Though the order does not prohibit people from filming police, community members have said the ordinance is still too broad. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "3 Tucson police officers resign following death of man in police custody," 24 June 2020 Paul, who was not present when the Senate approved the measure in February 2019, says the definition for lynching in the bill is too broad and would include an assault such as slapping someone, an argument Harris has dismissed as spurious. Tal Kopan,, "Kamala Harris’ anti-lynching bill caught in police reform fight," 23 June 2020 Most of my memories of Brian from those days are broad and fuzzy, an impressionist canvas of penny words like smart and competitive, kinetoscope footage of five or six teenage morons blustering in the A/V room after school. Brian Barrett, Wired, "My Friend Was Struck by ALS. Here’s How He’s Fighting Back," 23 June 2020 The Southern District’s jurisdiction is broad and the President’s business and now-defunct foundation lie within its borders. Joyce White Vance, Time, "Americans Need to Know the Truth About William Barr's Friday Night Massacre. We Can't Afford to Wait," 22 June 2020 Rob Cramer, system vice president for administration, said the recommendations are broad so individual chancellors can decide how to handle reopening. USA TODAY, "Silver Dollar City, ‘Thunder’ silenced, empty Vegas buffets: News from around our 50 states," 16 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The gains were broad-based, cutting across industries and demographic groups. Ben Casselman,, "After June job gains, still a ‘deep hole,’ and new worries," 3 July 2020 Joseph Forrester, a pulmonologist at he Medical Center of Aurora in Colorado brought up the interim results of a study investigating the potential for a broad-acting antiviral drug. Monique Brouillette, Scientific American, "Hospitals Experiment with COVID-19 Treatments, Balancing Hope and Evidence," 29 June 2020 But Stewart also goes broad at times, and that’s less effective. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Jon Stewart's sharp political satire 'Irresistible' dismantles how American elections work," 22 June 2020 And the researchers do think this study is generalizable beyond just the broad-tailed hummingbirds that volunteered for it. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Experiments show hummingbirds see colors you’ve never dreamed of," 19 June 2020 Will nothing stop our broad-shouldered, tough-guy sport, not even a pandemic? Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Opinion: It's hard to see NFL, college football being played as usual this fall," 18 June 2020 In a new study, researchers set up a field experiment to test how wild broad-tailed hummingbirds reacted to these colors. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Hummingbirds can see an array of colors invisible to humans," 16 June 2020 While the program is broad-based and targeted across multiple industries, oil companies could stand to benefit, again. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Oil could benefit again from Fed loan program tweaks," 9 June 2020 Stefánsson, who is seventy-one, is tall and broad-shouldered, with white hair and a white, Hemingwayesque beard. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, "How Iceland Beat the Coronavirus," 1 June 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Broad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for broad


How to pronounce Broad (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of broad

: large from one side to the other side
chiefly British : having a specified width
: including or involving many things or people : wide in range or amount


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on broad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for broad

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with broad

Spanish Central: Translation of broad

Nglish: Translation of broad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of broad for Arabic Speakers

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