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 Hernandez found the school district policy did not violate the privacy rights of other students who may object to sharing the spaces. The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Federal appeals court affirms Oregon school district’s restroom policy for transgender students," 12 Feb. 2020 One of the most popular and unique spaces in the house is the rooftop terrace, which includes a covered seating area and a beautiful view of the downtown Mobile skyline. Michelle Matthews |, al, "After decades of neglect, it’s time for this historic home in Mobile to shine once again," 12 Feb. 2020 Architecture and design firm Snøhetta will outfit the 5,000-square-foot space. Esther Mobley,, "Thad Vogler to relocate San Francisco’s Bar Agricole, relaunch Obispo," 11 Feb. 2020 Unlike the perfectly symmetrical empty space, there are spots on these spatial crystals that look different than other spots, such as their edges. Stav Dimitropoulos, Popular Mechanics, "Could These Crystals Help Us Travel Through Time?," 11 Feb. 2020 Once in the locker room, Bender explored the space and even walked on the team logo, which is usually forbidden, but for him, the Admirals players make an exception. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bender takes the ice: New Admirals puppy gets rink time, hopes to raise awareness for adoption and neutering," 11 Feb. 2020 The 640-square-foot space is tucked between and — and just two doors down from . Los Angeles Times, "Browsing: Higher Standards brings luxe smokeshop concept to Malibu," 11 Feb. 2020 Keep your eyes peeled for vents that are noticeably circulating air throughout the space. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "The Ultimate Guide to Gorgeous Nails," 10 Feb. 2020 The space included an entry bar, a main 350-capacity room for performances, and an attached upstairs with an additional bar. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Manhattan Club The Dance Is Closing After Just Four Months," 10 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The move to the small lineups was chosen in a large part to give Westbrook spacing to attack the rim off the dribble, as Westbrook has scored at least 30 points in nine of his past 10 games. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "A key to Rockets’ small-ball plan, Russell Westbrook sits out vs. Suns," 7 Feb. 2020 Astra is currently offering rides to space with about half that capacity for $2.5 million per launch. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "At Astra, failure is an option," 6 Feb. 2020 Those barbules, in turn, have even smaller features—lumpy nodes and prongs spaced along their length. Helen Czerski, WSJ, "Eiderdown Is Nature’s Perfect Duvet," 6 Feb. 2020 The type of knot, their number and their spacing conveyed numerical information. The Economist, "Knotty tale The mystery of quipus—Incan knot records," 1 Feb. 2020 Organizations like the National Institutes of Health are now looking to space to improve treatments, and everything from large pharmaceutical companies to small-scale startups want in. Molly Glick, Popular Science, "Space might be the perfect place to grow human organs," 30 Jan. 2020 Scoop balls of dough, about 2 Tbsp each, onto prepared sheets, spacing 2 in. apart. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Strawberry-Oatmeal Cookies," 22 Jan. 2020 Lightly spray base of air-fryer basket with vegetable oil spray. Arrange breasts in prepared basket, spaced evenly apart, alternating ends. NBC News, "How to make crispy chicken parmesan in your air fryer," 16 Jan. 2020 Between them was a plate with three slots, each 10 centimers wide, spaced 13 centimeters apart. Urbasi Sinha, Scientific American, "Quantum Slits Open New Doors," 7 Jan. 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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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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Space.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 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

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