ex·​pand | \ ik-ˈspand How to pronounce expand (audio) \
expanded; expanding; expands

Definition of expand

transitive verb

1 : to open up : unfold
2 : to increase the extent, number, volume, or scope of : enlarge
3a : to express at length or in greater detail
b : to write out in full expand all abbreviations
c : to subject to mathematical expansion expand a function in a power series

intransitive verb

1 : to open out : spread
2 : to increase in extent, number, volume, or scope
3 : to speak or write fully or in detail expanded on the theme
4 : to feel generous or optimistic

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Other Words from expand

expandability \ ik-​ˌspan-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce expandability (audio) \ noun
expandable \ ik-​ˈspan-​də-​bəl How to pronounce expandable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for expand

expand, amplify, swell, distend, inflate, dilate mean to increase in size or volume. expand may apply regardless of the manner of increase (such as growth, unfolding, addition of parts). a business that expands every year amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate. amplify the statement with details swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits. the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within. a distended abdomen inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a vulnerability to sudden collapse. an inflated ego dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference. dilated pupils

Examples of expand in a Sentence

The liquid expands and contracts with changes in temperature. His business has expanded to serve the entire state. The coffee shop may expand into a full restaurant. He has expanded his business to serve the entire state. There are plans to expand the airport. The police have decided to expand their investigation. She plans to expand the lecture series into a book. Expand the abbreviation “deg.” to “degree.”
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Recent Examples on the Web Start a settlement, expand your kingdom, and take over the world! Jess Grey, Wired, "The Best Cyber Monday Video Game and Accessory Deals," 29 Nov. 2020 But there are signs that offerings may expand ahead, after the International Capital Market Association published guidelines for the securities in June. Ayai Tomisawa, Bloomberg.com, "Brave New World of ESG Bonds Can Sometimes Leave Investors Cold," 25 Nov. 2020 Continues to expand his game from merely a spot-up shooter, improving his defensive versatility and offensive repertoire. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "SDSU basketball 2020-21: a look at the roster and key games," 25 Nov. 2020 The facility will have an initial capacity of 30,000 units per year and will eventually expand to 400,000 units a year, according to Lucid. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "2022 Lucid Air Pure, Base Model of the New EV, to Start at $77,400," 25 Nov. 2020 That does not mean teams cannot expand the playoffs on their own, in a manner of speaking. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "From Ryan Day through Jim Harbaugh, the Big Ten coaching satisfaction rankings: College Football Monday Madness," 23 Nov. 2020 General Mills added 45 external production lines through contractors this year, while Campbell Soup Co. spent $40 million to expand production of Goldfish crackers, a must for parents cooped up with toddlers. Sarah Mcgregor, chicagotribune.com, "Panic buying’s back with COVID-19 surge, but food companies, TP makers are ramping up supply," 23 Nov. 2020 Mackay said the project’s goal is to permanently close the digital divide in Phoenix, potentially expand out into other cities, provide workforce training to maintain the new infrastructure and to prepare students for high-tech jobs. Megan Taros, The Arizona Republic, "The pandemic uncovered south Phoenix's digital divide. Here's how the city wants to forge a permanent fix," 21 Nov. 2020 Biden has also pledged to expand federal procurement even further, by an additional $400 billion over his four-year term. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Biden plans to use federal government purchasing power to go green," 20 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expand.' 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 expand

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for expand

Middle English expaunden, from Latin expandere, from ex- + pandere to spread — more at fathom

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Time Traveler for expand

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for expand

Last Updated

2 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expand. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for expand


How to pronounce expand (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of expand

: to increase in size, range, or amount : to become bigger
: to cause (something) to increase in size, range, or amount : to make (something) bigger
: to write (something) in full form


ex·​pand | \ ik-ˈspand How to pronounce expand (audio) \
expanded; expanding

Kids Definition of expand

1 : to grow or increase in size, number, or amount The airport is expanding.
2 : to open wide : unfold The eagle's wings expanded.
3 : to take up or cause to take up more space Metals expand under heat.
4 : to speak or write about in greater detail Would you expand on that idea?

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