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 That combination led to the to the name Blended Strategy Group: the meeting of an expert in one area with an expert in another to reconfigure both the celebrity talent and influencer space and service clients in a unique way. Rachel Burchfield, Marie Claire, "Don’t Call Allison Statter Kim Kardashian’s Best Friend," 5 Jan. 2021 Hospitals across California are running low on space and staff in their intensive care units, where COVID-19 patients often need to be treated and tethered to machines for weeks. Jason Fagone,, "Grim start to 2021 as both S.F. and California set coronavirus records," 1 Jan. 2021 Here is our conversation, edited for space and flow. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Reflections of a Market Evangelist," 31 Dec. 2020 Saul Scherl, president of the New York tri-state region for Howard Hughes, said the proposal also includes community space and $50 million to help endow the South Street Seaport Museum. Irene Plagianos, WSJ, "Developer’s $1.4 Billion Plan for Towers in New York’s Historic Seaport District Sparks Controversy," 30 Dec. 2020 Factors such as the existing quarterback (or plan to acquire a quarterback), salary cap space and the chemistry with the GM amid the organizational power structure will be weighed in ranking teams. Jarrett Bell, USA Today, "Eric Bieniemy is ready to be a head coach. Which NFL team will finally take him?," 30 Dec. 2020 Plans for the passive park include a gazebo, walking trail, playground area, open space and on-street parking, according to the county. Aegis Staff,, "Feedback wanted on plans for park in Edgewood, upgrades to Ma & Pa Dog Park," 30 Dec. 2020 With its acres of open space and a nonprofit operating structure, Hawthorne Valley’s model of dairy production isn’t easily replicable, Mr. Fenniman acknowledges. New York Times, "Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?," 29 Dec. 2020 The proposal features increased cleanliness, extensive space and technological elements lacking at most other sports and entertainment venues. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cavaliers presented innovative coronavirus plan to the state, are asking to have more than 4,000 fans at home games," 29 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition to the community and space the D Loft Cafe offers its vendors, Shelton also provides marketing and business advice, organizing headshots and coaching vendors on how to get their name out in the community. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Oak Park cafe brings multiple small food businesses together under one roof," 19 Dec. 2020 Connect the first Eero to your broadband modem and space the others throughout your house. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "Gift Guide 2020: Still shopping? Try these ideas on for size," 17 Dec. 2020 All restaurants will be required to space tables at least 6 feet apart unless the tables are separated by sanitized dividers. Daniella Genovese, Fox News, "Reinstated coronavirus restrictions by state: What you need to know," 17 Nov. 2020 Mark the plate locations starting about 3 inches in from each end of the top and space the plates 6-8 inches on center along each joint's length [1]. Neal Barrett, Popular Mechanics, "Make a Kitchen Table That Will Last Generations," 14 Nov. 2020 Readers are turning to space heaters to warm their spaces and getting ready to gift family and friends with everything from graphic novels to gaming consoles. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "New & Notable: Products from Otterbox, Amazon, Burrow and more," 2 Nov. 2020 Oakland fined the Humanist Hall events space nearly $14,000 for violating pandemic regulations, but the police have not intervened so far. Sarah Ravani,, "Oakland events space continues to hold big events while city officials do little to stop it," 21 Oct. 2020 The Commission on Presidential Debates decided to separate Pence and Kamala Harris with plexiglass and space the candidates 12 feet apart for Wednesday’s vice presidential debate. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Q&A: New CDC guidelines acknowledge COVID-19 can spread through air. Here’s why that matters," 7 Oct. 2020 Bar Bombón is not alone in looking to space heaters to expand the outdoor dining season. Tamara Holmes, USA TODAY, "This restaurant's revenue is better than last year. Here's how owners can survive even in COVID winter.," 5 Oct. 2020

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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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

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Space.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on space

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