ex·​pan·​sive | \ ik-ˈspan(t)-siv How to pronounce expansive (audio) \

Definition of expansive

1 : having a capacity or a tendency to expand
2 : causing or tending to cause expansion
3a : characterized by high spirits, generosity, or readiness to talk : open grew expansive after dinner
b : marked by or indicative of exaggerated euphoria and delusions of self-importance an expansive patient
4 : marked by expansion especially : having a great expanse or extent : sizable, extensive an expansive interpretation of the law
5 : characterized by richness, abundance, or magnificence expansive living expansive taste

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Other Words from expansive

expansively adverb
expansiveness noun

Examples of expansive in a Sentence

He was unusually expansive at the press conference. She was in an expansive mood. The law was expansive in its scope. a more expansive treatment of the topic the hotel's expansive dining room The house has expansive views of the valley.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The study is not intended to recommend specific boundary changes but rather to take a more expansive look at what exists — and what is possible — in a county that covers about 500 square miles, with 206 schools and swaths of wealth and poverty. Washington Post, "School boundary questions touch off debates about race, income, equity," 8 July 2019 The plan passed Sunday was negotiated at the request of the state’s largest business association, which wanted to avoid the possibility that voters might pass a more expansive version. Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "Oregon Senate sends paid family and medical leave plan to Gov. Kate Brown," 30 June 2019 In recent years, precisely to take account of people like Pellittieri, scholars, activists, and medical practitioners have begun urging policymakers to adopt a more expansive definition of infertility. Anna Louie Sussman, The New Yorker, "The Case for Redefining Infertility," 18 June 2019 But most of the other top-tier candidates, many of whom hope to appeal to millennial generation voters, are pushing a vision much more expansive — and costly — than Biden’s. Evan Halper, latimes.com, "Lots of 2020 candidates are talking about ‘free college.’ Here's what they’re not telling you," 7 June 2019 With a far more expansive wine and beer list and a polished bar adjacent to the dining room, Buddy V’s was the clear watering hole winner. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "Paula Deen vs. Buddy V: S.A.’s Celebrity Restaurant Smackdown," 7 May 2018 MasculinUT, which first drew attention on social media thanks to a poster campaign, promotes a more expansive approach to masculinity. Anne Branigin, The Root, "University of Texas Campaign Around Healthy Masculinity Plunges Conservative Outlets Deep Into Their Feelings," 1 May 2018 Atlanta, another post child for sprawl, has seen expansive development due to new projects near the Beltline, the expanding, city-wide pedestrian and bike corridor. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why building walkable cities is the key to economic success," 24 June 2019 Other expensive royal trips this past year included Prince William's visit to the Middle East and Charles and Camilla's expansive tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland last summer. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Charles and Camilla Were the Royal Family's Biggest Spenders on Travel This Year," 24 June 2019

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

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for expansive

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expansive

The first known use of expansive was in 1651

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More Definitions for expansive



English Language Learners Definition of expansive

formal : talking a lot
: covering or including many things : very broad or wide
: covering a large space or area


ex·​pan·​sive | \ ik-ˈspan(t)-siv How to pronounce expansive (audio) \

Medical Definition of expansive

: marked by or indicative of exaggerated euphoria and delusions of self-importance a patient with expansive trends

Other Words from expansive

expansiveness \ -​nəs How to pronounce expansiveness (audio) \ noun

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Comments on expansive

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


something desired as essential

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