\ 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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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 plan temporarily expands the reasons for voting by mail but is not as broad as voting-rights advocates would have preferred. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Louisiana House committee rejects bid to let anyone registered vote by mail," 20 May 2020 Their target audience will be much broader than HBO’s typical viewer: a fan of adult dramas. Gerry Smith,, "HBO Max Viewers May Soon Be Able to Skip Opening Credits in Break From Tradition," 20 May 2020 But maybe its diverse roots will result in broader appeal for the brand's products. Jared Gall, Car and Driver, "We Boot Up a 2020 Volvo S60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid for 40,000 Miles," 18 May 2020 Shares of tech giants Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft all closed up by more than 1 percent, helping the Nasdaq outperform the broader market. Harold Maass, TheWeek, "The daily business briefing: May 12, 2020," 12 May 2020 Still, perhaps service providers wouldn’t be in such a challenging position right now if the safety net for people in need were broader and more reliable in general. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "The Worst Situation Imaginable for Family Violence," 8 May 2020 But Miller also said that states must remember the problem is broader -- and about which circumstances make people turn to opioids to begin with. Mallory Simon, CNN, "75,000 Americans at risk of dying from overdose or suicide due to coronavirus despair, group warns," 8 May 2020 The orders are generally broad, and decisions about which violations to treat as acceptable and which ones to penalize have largely been left to local police departments’ discretion. Joshua Kaplan, ProPublica, "In Some of Ohio’s Most Populous Areas, Black People Were at Least 4 Times as Likely to Be Charged With Stay-at-Home Violations as Whites," 8 May 2020 In numerous appearances to discuss the topic in recent weeks, Pompeo has hinted the penalty might be broader, including cutting off all funding or demanding that the WHO director resign. Los Angeles Times, "U.N. nearly triples its coronavirus fundraising goal to $6.7 billion," 7 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The new Quattro is a tool of specific and yet broad-based purpose. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1982 Audi Quattro," 22 May 2020 Massive eruptions caused floods of hot basalt to run down the accumulating slopes, building a broad, slightly domed layer of new earth. William W. Sager, Scientific American, "Giant Volcano Rewrites the Story of Seafloor Formation," 1 May 2020 His body was thick, his shoulders broad beneath his black denim jacket. Kate Folk, The New Yorker, "Out There," 16 Mar. 2020 Speaking to Teen Vogue in an empty classroom prior to taking the stage, the former candidate for Georgia’s governorship shared more thoughts on the need to keep the Democratic tent as broad as possible. Allegra Kirkland, Teen Vogue, "Stacey Abrams Talks 2020, AOC, and the Future of the Democratic Party," 3 Feb. 2020 Her credibility is augmented by her physical presence: fully three-dimensional, lifted in the spine, broad across the collarbones, with calm shoulders. Washington Post, "These 18 movie stars are also amazing dancers. That’s their real superpower.," 9 Jan. 2020 Grimm noted that the 100,000 threshold makes the Maryland law very broad when compared to a similar law passed in New York, which applies to digital platforms with at least 70 million monthly visitors., "Court to hear arguments on Maryland political ads law," 28 Oct. 2019 But the rulings that have been issued so far indicate that the answer is: Sessions is going very broad indeed. Dara Lind, Vox, "Jeff Sessions is exerting unprecedented control over immigration courts — by ruling on cases himself," 21 May 2018 In a statement, C.P.R. said the new rules for mass arbitration were broad based and not specific to the DoorDash case. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "‘Scared to Death’ by Arbitration: Companies Drowning in Their Own System," 6 Apr. 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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Broad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 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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