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 Test criteria: Ohio broadly expanded the criteria for determining who is allowed to get a coronavirus test to include Ohioans who are showing symptoms of the disease. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "How safe are Ohio summer fun activities amid the coronavirus threat? The Wake Up for Friday, May 29, 2020," 29 May 2020 The fight in Texas is just one of several court battles across the country over efforts, mainly by Democrats, to expand access to mail-in ballots amid the pandemic. CBS News, "Texas court: Virus fear alone not enough for mail balloting," 28 May 2020 In May, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt would lead a commission to re-imagine how the state does business, focusing on remote education, tele-health—and, of course, expanded access to the internet. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "The End of the Backlash to Big Tech," 28 May 2020 Nuro’s fleet of autonomous vehicles is expanding its footprint in Houston, partnering with CVS to deliver prescriptions in a delivery service that is expected to begin as early as next month. Amanda Drane, Houston Chronicle, "CVS, Nuro partner on autonomous vehicle delivery service," 28 May 2020 The list will expand as other countries recover from their outbreaks. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Cyprus Promises to Cover Trip Costs If a Traveler Contracts Coronavirus While Visiting," 27 May 2020 The fight in Texas is one of several nationwide over expanding access to mail-in ballots amid the pandemic. Fox News, "Ruling that would expand Texas mail-in voting put on hold by appeals court," 21 May 2020 Let’s invest in expanding access to affordable mental health care coverage in our communities, companies, hospitals, and through the use of tele-health platforms. Jessica Gold, Time, "Could COVID-19 Finally Destigmatize Mental Illness?," 13 May 2020 Hogsett said the city will work to expand access to the public right of way, including possible road closures to allow more outdoor seating for restaurants. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis restaurants can begin dine-in service on May 22 — with only outdoor seating," 13 May 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

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expand. Accessed 1 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on expand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expand

Spanish Central: Translation of expand

Nglish: Translation of expand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expand for Arabic Speakers

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