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

Mr Biden and the refreshingly realistic Ms Klobuchar aside, the candidates touted the expanse and ambitiousness of their plans. J.e.f. | Washington, The Economist, "The Democratic candidates spell out their policies on climate change," 5 Sep. 2019 Along with the streams, the Wilton property had views of a pond, a waterfall, and expanses of open and wooded terrain. Wendy Goodman, Town & Country, "See Inside Jazz Great Dave Brubeck's Groovy Connecticut Home," 28 Aug. 2019 Warren Clark, an elder from the Paakantyi tribal group, surveyed the bare asphalt expanse during his speech. David Maurice Smith, Smithsonian, "A 42,000-Year-Old Man Finally Goes Home," 23 Aug. 2019 Monocultures, which grow huge expanses of only one crop year after year, have been directly linked to bee die-off as well as the spread of bee diseases. Vogue, "Who Speaks for the Bees? An Environmental Art Dinner Raises the Question," 20 Aug. 2019 In addition to the altitude, the other factor cited by pitchers is the expanse of Coors Field, the greatest in square feet of any field in major league baseball. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies Mailbag: Should Colorado be buyers, sellers or bystanders at the MLB trade deadline?," 16 July 2019 In between, near the Washington Monument, was a wide expanse of families on blankets, waiting for the fireworks. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "Evening in America: What it felt like on Trump’s 4th of July," 5 July 2019 In the heart of La Cité is an expanse of pavement inappropriately called the Parvis (Old French for Paradise), and in the heart of the Parvis there is a large hole in the ground. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019 The reserve is a picturesque expanse of shrubby hills and fields of wild oats cut through with gurgling creeks. Brent Crane, Discover Magazine, "Grizzly Bears Might Return to California. Is the State Ready?," 12 Mar. 2019

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

13 Sep 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



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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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

Comments on expanse

What made you want to look up expanse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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