expanse

noun
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

At the other end of the line and the economic spectrum lies the final stop of the metro, Aarey Milk Colony, a rare expanse of green once known for its dairy business. Corinne Abrams, WSJ, "‘You Have to Actually Cut Open Mumbai’s Belly’—Inside One of the World’s Most Audacious Transit Projects," 6 Jan. 2019 The Badger-Two Medicine area is part of the Rocky Mountain Front, a scenic expanse of forested mountains that’s been subject to a long campaign to block oil and gas development and mining. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "Judge restores energy lease on Montana land sacred to tribes," 25 Sep. 2018 It's considered the beginning of the Great Plains, a windswept, largely treeless expanse that covers large parts of 10 states and occupies one-fifth of the nation's land area. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "A major climate boundary in the central U.S. has shifted 140 miles due to global warming," 13 Apr. 2018 Few of the buildings in Palu’s suburbs of Petobo, Biromaru and Bala Roa could withstand the sideways mudslide that engulfed those communities in expanses of oozing quicksand. Elaine Kurtenbach, The Seattle Times, "Disaster undoes hard-won progress for Indonesian port city," 2 Oct. 2018 The frigid expanse of land at the Earth’s Southern pole is covered by 90 percent of the planet’s ice. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Antarctica has lost 2.71 trillion tons of ice. Here’s what that looks like.," 12 Sep. 2018 With China to the south and Russia to the north, the country is still a place of wilds untamed, from wolves in the Ural mountains to the thirsty expanses of the Gobi, where necessary supplies always travel with you. Jason Harper, Condé Nast Traveler, "On the Hunt for Dinosaur Bones in the Gobi Desert," 20 July 2018 Take advantage of the fact that hostas emerge late and plant the large open expanses with spring-flowering bulbs and ephemeral wildflowers such as toothworts (Dentaria), spring beauties (Claytonia), and trout lilies (Erythronium). Kris Wetherbee, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Stunning Hostas," 7 Aug. 2018 The island benefits from large clear expanses of ocean to the north and south for polar orbits, as well as to the east for low earth orbits up to 500km. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX doubles up, European resistance, condensed Kármán," 27 July 2018

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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Statistics for expanse

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expanse

The first known use of expanse was in 1637

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More Definitions for expanse

expanse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of expanse

: a large and usually flat open space or area

expanse

noun
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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More from Merriam-Webster on expanse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expanse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expanse

Spanish Central: Translation of expanse

Nglish: Translation of expanse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expanse for Arabic Speakers

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