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 People living in the area also have complained that the protesters who remained were no longer peaceful, but instead were using the space for their own gain and at times blocking people on the street from getting by. Fox News, "Armed protesters 'take over' Atlanta Wendy's parking lot where Rayshard Brooks was killed, reports say," 23 June 2020 Since then, Fredrickson has looked to pick up the space, drawn to its patio -- a feature that Society Lounge lacks. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Society Lounge owner to open new bar in former Hodge’s restaurant space," 23 June 2020 And The Coven’s shuttered Minneapolis space is now collecting food and other donations for those in need because of the protests and police violence. Fortune, "How 2 startup cofounders are dealing with 3 compounding crises," 23 June 2020 Noemi Gonzalez, marketing director for Marker Street, confirmed Berryhill’s closure and said staff are working to find a new tenant for the space at 9595 Six Pines Drive. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "24-Hour Fitness in The Woodlands on Kuykendahl to close," 17 June 2020 First, it was held in the Duke Energy Convention Center to allow for social distancing, and for the space needed for the unprecedented crowd. Scott Wartman,, "Citizens to council: Defund the police or we'll vote you out," 17 June 2020 Each chrome-finished rack is 11.5 inches wide, 2.5 inches tall, and 2.5 inches deep (check the exact dimensions for the maximum usable space). Popular Science, "Spice racks to help you declutter your kitchen," 16 June 2020 The Think Tank was disappointed that a distinction was made—by nearly every political leader discussing the need for more space in prisons—between nonviolent offenders and violent ones. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Punishment by Pandemic," 15 June 2020 Developing bonds between characters struggle for space to breathe as the game makes frequent changes to the characters’ circumstances and perspective. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "The Last of Us Part 2 review: A less confident, less focused sequel," 12 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Restaurants opening their indoor dining areas must space tables at least 6 feet apart, but bars, unattended buffets and self-serve drink stations will remain closed for now. USA TODAY, "Tattoos, masks, telemedicine, Yellowstone: News from around our 50 states," 23 June 2020 Virgin Galactic's own SpaceShipTwo is a suborbital spaceplane that is incapable of making it to the ISS, and the company has only sent five people to space on two suborbital test flights. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Virgin Galactic will help train astronauts for NASA," 22 June 2020 Though women had already been to space—Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova had paved the way in 1963—NASA had long resisted the idea of women astronauts. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How Sally Ride blazed a trail for women in space," 18 June 2020 Yet, despite 60 years of humanity sending individuals to space, there has been alarmingly little research into how meds work differently off-planet. Troy Farah, Ars Technica, "Vicodin, ketamine, and caffeine: The ingredients of a good space pharmacy," 8 June 2020 The goal of social-distancing measures is not to shut everything down, but to space people out. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Curfews and Arrests Will Inflame the Pandemic," 5 June 2020 Voters have faced lines at some locations as election officials space them 6 feet apart and limit the number of people allowed inside at a time. Mark Niesse, ajc, "Early voting for Georgia’s June 9 primary ends today as turnout crosses 1.1M," 5 June 2020 His ability to space the floor and defend multiple positions should be enough for a fringe-rotation role. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors mailbag: Could Marc Gasol be Golden State’s starting center next season?," 3 June 2020 The achievement, years in the making, is expected to drive down launch costs, so more people might be able to afford a ticket to space in the coming years. Marcia Dunn,, "SpaceX’s historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station," 31 May 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

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Space.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 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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