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 out Space 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 Domestic propaganda resounds with the success and strength of Communist leadership; there is no space for apologetic behavior on the global stage. Los Angeles Times, "Beijing responds to U.S. alliances with ‘wolf warrior’ defiance. Will it backfire?," 26 Apr. 2021 The researchers say there is up to four times as much space still available on southern French vineyards and suitable farms that could be covered with solar panels. Washington Post, "French vineyards devastated by April frost that followed unusually warm March," 26 Apr. 2021 There is so much space there, just looking at it realistically and geographically. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar drivers excited for fans to return to Indy 500, but wish there could be more," 24 Apr. 2021 The Bones headquarters is the same garage-front space on Grand Avenue where Belhaus is located. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "Say hello to Bones — Grand Avenue's new 'bodega,' brought to you by a Phoenix soccer club," 24 Apr. 2021 There is also an additional space that could be used as an office or music room, Steingasser said. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "Want to live in the English countryside? This Dallas home feels like a charming estate," 23 Apr. 2021 There is also storage space on this level, including a cedar closet., "Home of the Week: A Boston mansion anarchists blew up," 23 Apr. 2021 National Monument Camp Amersfoort is a large, underground and dark space dominated by the portraits and personal stories of about 47,000 people who were imprisoned at the facility in the center of the Netherlands. Cnaan Liphshiz,, "Museum opens at one of Holland’s most infamous Nazi camps," 22 Apr. 2021 The only parameters are the space, the length of the performance and the set duos. oregonlive, "7 things to do this week: Bulgarian folk-inspired music, Parker Quartet, and ‘Dyad Dance and Music’," 21 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With hybrid learning, some customers have been able to come in during the day, so it's been easier to space people out. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "'A rite of passage': Cincinnati-area schools plan for proms with COVID-19 precautions," 23 Mar. 2021 And then offensively, another guy that can get to the rim and finish, but also space the floor. Ira Winderman,, "Heat make signing of Dewayne Dedmon official; center given Hassan Whiteside’s number," 8 Apr. 2021 Right now, both players are mistake-prone, and neither can space the floor. Christian Clark,, "'I don't think we're taking great pride': The Pelicans' defense has fallen off a cliff," 22 Jan. 2021 Since then, the court has added plexiglass partitions to some jury boxes, and court officials also plan to space jurors out within the box, as well as into parts of the audience. Washington Post, "Jury trials to resume in D.C. Superior Court on March 22, court officials say," 15 Jan. 2021 But the planet’s vast oceans couldn’t have been lost to space fast enough to account for other milestones in Mars’ existence. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Mars’ Missing Water Might Be Hiding in Its Minerals," 19 Mar. 2021 As a result, much of Mars’s air escaped to space, presumably carrying away most of the planet’s water with it. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "Water on Mars May Be Trapped in the Planet's Crust, Not Lost to Space," 18 Mar. 2021 So the carpet was moved from the Hoosier Dome to space at the Indiana Convention Center. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "Before Indianapolis saved the NCAA tournament, the city rescued the 1987 Pan Am Games," 18 Mar. 2021 If all of Mars’s water had escaped to space, taking its free hydrogen atoms with it, there would be much more deuterium in the modern day Martian sky relative to the remaining free hydrogen—by some measures, more than twice as much. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Mars Has Much More Water Than Previously Known—But There's a Catch," 16 Mar. 2021

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

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Space.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for space



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

Nglish: Translation of space for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of space for Arabic Speakers

Comments on space

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