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 The countries of the Sahel, the bone-dry expanse along the Sahara’s southern edge, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad, are among the world’s most unstable. Helen Epstein, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2022 While there, our tour guide began to sing, her voice enveloping the space, seemingly vibrating the bridge stretched through the expanse. BostonGlobe.com, 6 May 2022 Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch is set within the stunning expanse of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and has its own network of trails. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 23 Apr. 2022 The rocky expanse of the Gobi Desert is set to become home to an additional 455 gigawatts of wind turbines and solar panels — more than double the total current capacity of the United States — by 2030. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 The 400-acre expanse is already home to some of the country’s most characterful and impeccable boutique hotels – Dormy House, Foxhill Manor and The Fish. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 Wandering around the woods — the same rural expanse where Mom played as a kid — Nelly comes across a hut. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2022 The expanse of Soviet control over other nations after the war, therefore, could be seen as a defensive maneuver – a hedge against future invaders. Gregory Carleton, The Conversation, 18 Apr. 2022 The endless expanse of ocean conjures up the idea of eternity. Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2022 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near expanse

expand on/upon



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Statistics for expanse

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Expanse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expanse. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for expanse


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

Kids Definition of expanse

: a wide area or stretch an expanse of desert

More from Merriam-Webster on expanse

Nglish: Translation of expanse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expanse for Arabic Speakers


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