noun, often attributive
\ ˈspās How to pronounce space (audio) \

Definition of space

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period of time also : its duration
2a : a limited extent in one, two, or three dimensions : distance, area, volume
b : an extent set apart or available parking space floor space
c : the distance from other people or things that a person needs in order to remain comfortable invading my personal space
3 : one of the degrees between or above or below the lines of a musical staff — compare line
4a : a boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction infinite space and time
b : physical space independent of what occupies it

called also absolute space

5 : the region beyond the earth's atmosphere or beyond the solar system
6a : a blank area separating words or lines
b : material used to produce such blank area especially : a piece of type less than one en in width
7 : a set of mathematical elements and especially of abstractions of all the points on a line, in a plane, or in physical space especially : a set of mathematical entities with a set of axioms of geometric character — compare metric space, topological space, vector space
8a : linage
b : broadcast time available especially to advertisers
9 : accommodations on a public vehicle
10a : the opportunity to assert or experience one's identity or needs freely
b : an opportunity for privacy or time to oneself


spaced; spacing

Definition of space (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place at intervals or arrange with space between Evenly space 16 tablespoons of shredded cheese on the baking sheet… — The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel often used with outSpace out the work you plan to do… Don't try to crowd too much into each day.— Darlene Polachic

intransitive verb

1 : to leave one or more blank spaces (as in a line of typing)
2 informal : to fail to remember something : forget … I totally forgot to write last week. I had planned to do it, I had it all figured out, and I spaced.— Steve "Nookie" Postal often used with on If your mom doesn't live close by, or if you totally spaced on getting her a Mother's Day gift this year, then flowers or chocolates are a great, last-minute gift idea that are sure to brighten her day.— Leah Stodart — see also space out

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Synonyms for space

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of space in a Sentence

Noun There's still some space for a bookshelf. the space behind the couch Is there space in the cabinet for these dishes? There's not much empty space. He moved the books to create more space on his desk. Those old boxes take up a lot of space. The magazine devotes a lot of space to advertising. She has a space between her front teeth. There isn't much space between our houses. the wide open spaces of the western U.S. Verb Space the seedlings about six inches apart. He spaces his albums so that he puts one out every two to three years. They spaced the births of their three children two years apart.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun He was told three other carriers could use the tower and existing towers lacked space for T-Mobile to use. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy Council questions height, site of proposed cell tower," 15 Jan. 2020 Ohio State was already not the best shooting team, so moving the line back would only benefit its inside presence of Kaleb Wesson, giving him more space to operate. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State basketball’s Andre Wesson and his evolution into a ‘Sniper’," 15 Jan. 2020 The company’s rapid growth is reflected in its constant struggle to find sufficient office space. oregonlive, "On: The fastest growing sneaker company you’ve never heard of," 15 Jan. 2020 But as more neighborhood schools have offered full-day pre-k, more spaces at the centers have become available to middle-class parents who pay a sliding scale tuition. Krista Torralva,, "Fast track eyed for San Antonio sales tax election to fund Pre-K 4 SA," 14 Jan. 2020 This setup allows for a much lower floor, adding space in the second and third rows as well as in the cargo area. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "New 2021 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL Get AT4 Off-Road Trim and Diesel Engine," 14 Jan. 2020 The centenary has brought attention to a war that occupies comparatively little space in the American popular consciousness, though its aftereffects continue to resonate. Eric R. Danton, Fortune, "World War I Takes the Pop Culture Spotlight After Years of Being the ‘Neglected War’," 14 Jan. 2020 And leave much more space between you and the car in front. Eric Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Winter Car Rental Tips: What Is the Best Car Rental for Snow?," 13 Jan. 2020 The property is in the process of adding more residential and office space under a new owner, Bayshore Shopping Center JV LLC. John Steppe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Women's retailers Chico's, White House Black Market to close stores at Bayshore," 13 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For astronauts, there is a team of people on the ground that prepares us and our spacecraft for the journey to space with the single goal of returning us home safely – mission success. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "See an astronaut's-eye view of race courses from 250 miles above," 18 Apr. 2018 Some of the experiments going to space include one from Budweiser looking to learn more about the malting ability of barley seeds in space, part of a long-term mission to brew beer in microgravity. Chabeli Herrera,, "SpaceX plans to launch mission carrying 5,700 pounds of supplies to ISS Wednesday," 4 Dec. 2019 But, even so, Portland’s spacing, passing, cutting, shooting and playmaking has been noticeably better. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Carmelo Anthony has brought the fun — and the offense — back to the Portland Trail Blazers," 28 Nov. 2019 Palm trees, evenly spaced along the main road, were toppled over. Kevin Sieff,, "When Hurricane Dorian blew through the Bahamas, it exposed one of the world’s great faultlines of inequality," 16 Sep. 2019 The way Layman runs and spaces the floor stands out to most, but Saunders noted his absence is just as noticeable on the defensive end. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Jake Layman’s absence has spelled trouble for Timberwolves," 13 Dec. 2019 The team’s top returning 3-point shooter, Forbes’ main role is to provide floor-spacing to a first unit otherwise devoid of it. Jeff Mcdonald,, "San Antonio Spurs’ Bryn Forbes aiming for better December," 5 Dec. 2019 With Montgomery out, Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell, was used frequently as a low-post bruiser despite arriving on campus with the reputation as a stretch forward capable of adding floor spacing with his 3-point shot. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky basketball's Nate Sestina out for four weeks with broken wrist," 27 Nov. 2019 That way, Russell has better floor spacing with Thompson and learns to play more off-the-ball with Curry. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "With Steph Curry out at least three months after surgery, where do Warriors go from here?," 1 Nov. 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1700, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for space


Middle English, from Anglo-French espace, space, from Latin spatium area, room, interval of space or time

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Learn More about space

Time Traveler for space

Time Traveler

The first known use of space was in the 14th century

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Statistics for space

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Space.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for space


How to pronounce space (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of space

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the amount of an area, room, surface, etc., that is empty or available for use
: an area that is used or available for a specific purpose
: an empty area between things



English Language Learners Definition of space (Entry 2 of 2)

: to place or arrange (things) so that there is a particular amount of space between them
: to separate (things) by particular periods of time


\ ˈspās How to pronounce space (audio) \

Kids Definition of space

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part of a distance, area, or volume that can be measured a grassy open space
2 : a certain place set apart or available a parking space There's still some space in the cupboard.
3 : the area without limits in which all things exist and move endless space and time
4 : a period of time The phone rang five times within the space of 15 minutes.
5 : the region beyond the earth's atmosphere
6 : an empty place Sit in the space between us.


spaced; spacing

Kids Definition of space (Entry 2 of 2)

: to place or separate with some distance or time between Space the posts about six feet apart.


\ ˈspās How to pronounce space (audio) \

Medical Definition of space

1 : a period of time also : its duration
2 : a limited extent in one, two, or three dimensions
3 : a particular area or cavity within the body

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More from Merriam-Webster on space

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for space

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with space

Spanish Central: Translation of space

Nglish: Translation of space for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of space for Arabic Speakers

Comments on space

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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