ex·​panse | \ ik-ˈspan(t)s How to pronounce expanse (audio) \

Definition of expanse

1 : firmament
2 : great extent of something spread out an expanse of calm ocean

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Examples of expanse in a Sentence

The explorer gazed across the vast Arctic expanse. the great explorers who crossed the vast expanses of the seven seas in small ships
Recent Examples on the Web Alicka Ampry-Samuel works out of a two-story office building overlooking an expanse of vacant land, in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. Saki Knafo, The New Yorker, "Bridging the Divide Between the Police and the Policed," 28 Apr. 2021 At 78˚ North, this remote, rugged and riveting region unfolds an enormous expanse of monumental glaciers, frozen tundra and jaw-dropping virgin terrain. Laura Manske, Forbes, "G0 Wild: Discover The Best Post-Pandemic Trips Of A Lifetime," 26 Apr. 2021 In this color palette, small doses of turquoise, sunshine yellow, and raspberry punctuate an expanse of equally vibrant bubblegum pink. Monika Eyers, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Choose the Right Colors for Your Home, According to an Interior Designer," 15 Apr. 2021 Fathers and their kids got out their baseball mitts and played catch on an open expanse of asphalt. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burgers, brats and beer: Tailgating returns to American Family Field," 12 Apr. 2021 There’s an even wider expanse of grass on the right, certainly big enough for a flag-football game, and, beyond that, a row of trees that reminds you about how much land Disney owns and how much isn’t built up. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney: New walkway connects Magic Kingdom, Grand Floridian," 5 Mar. 2021 The play takes place entirely at a café table, though for pandemic purposes the table has been extended to a six-foot diameter—a dark expanse, cups of tea floating like lily pads. Helen Shaw, Vulture, "Irish Eyes, Unsmiling: Mark O’Rowe’s The Approach Is a Triple Showcase for Actors," 23 Jan. 2021 Months to years spent crossing a cold, airless expanse, sometimes with no final destination at all, is not work for squishy, social humans. National Geographic, "Is the robot future now?," 19 Aug. 2020 My first farm was three hours north of San Francisco: a distance of great geographic expanse, but an even greater cultural chasm. Mai Nguyen, CNN, "What 'Minari' is doing for Asian American farmers like me," 16 Apr. 2021

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

1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expanse

New Latin expansum, from Latin, neuter of expansus, past participle of expandere

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Time Traveler for expanse

Time Traveler

The first known use of expanse was in 1637

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Statistics for expanse

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expanse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expanse. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for expanse



English Language Learners Definition of expanse

: a large and usually flat open space or area


ex·​panse | \ ik-ˈspans How to pronounce expanse (audio) \

Kids Definition of expanse

: a wide area or stretch an expanse of desert

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Comments on expanse

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