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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for space

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Facebook, which first opened a Seattle office in 2010 with three engineers, now has more than 3 million square feet of commercial space in the greater Puget Sound area. Noah Buhayar,, "Facebook Buys REI Headquarters, Showing Life for Offices," 15 Sep. 2020 There’s plenty of space for events, as well, like a wine dinner happening Sept. 25. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, "Here's what's on tap at Gallery Pastry Bar — and what the owners have planned next," 15 Sep. 2020 The revolution in cooler technology has resulted in coolers that are super-efficient for the long haul, but that increase in long-term cooling can come at the expense of interior space. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Day Cooler," 15 Sep. 2020 This beloved kitchen island cart, with more than 4 feet of countertop space, can completely reinvent your kitchen by functioning as a movable island. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "30 of the coolest products at Wayfair you never knew about," 15 Sep. 2020 There’s plenty of space outside for their children — daughter Luna, 4, and son Miles, 2 — to play, and for Teigen to relax while pregnant with their third child. Hannah Chubb,, "All About John Legend & Chrissy Teigen’s Rental House — Including the Wine Cellar ‘Classroom!’," 15 Sep. 2020 The project, intended to consolidate and modernize Essentia's sprawling downtown Duluth campus, originally called for 928,000 square feet of new space and 120,000 square feet of renovations. Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune, "Essentia's new Duluth hospital opening pushed back a year to 2023," 15 Sep. 2020 Inside, the crowd was appreciably smaller; expanses of negative space separated the few spectators who weren’t massed behind the goalposts. Kent Russell, Harper's Magazine, "America’s Game," 15 Sep. 2020 The research and development complex on 119 acres at Miller Road and Brecksville Road near Interstate 77 would have about 500,000 square feet of space. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "Sherwin-Williams reaffirms plan to spend $600M to build new headquarters in Cleveland, research complex in Brecksville," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But having Fowles drawing attention in the post could space the floor for a lineup that is perhaps the best three-point shooting team since Reeve took over in 2010. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, "Lynx will get playoff bye after Phoenix loses to Seattle," 12 Sep. 2020 Looking to space, the president pledged to land the first woman on the moon and vowed to make the U.S. the first country to plant its flag on Mars. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Trump accepts GOP nomination and says Biden victory would destroy American way of life," 28 Aug. 2020 The plexiglass barriers are the school’s solution for physical distancing, since the classrooms aren’t big enough to space every desk six feet apart from each other. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Some San Diego schools open this week. Here’s how one school is doing in-person learning," 25 Aug. 2020 At the time, the whole world had its eyes on the stars; earlier that spring, a Soviet cosmonaut had beaten the Americans to space. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Snapshot of Canada: An Accidental Reading List," 29 May 2020 Astronaut and chemist Cady Coleman has been to space three times, the third time being a yearlong mission to the International Space Station. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Tips From Scientists Who Have Spent Months in Isolation," 1 Apr. 2020 Once the registration period is done and the district knows how many students will be working online, staff will go into classrooms and space the desks out. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Here’s a breakdown of how some of the biggest school districts in Utah plan to reopen," 9 Aug. 2020 While that may seem expensive, consider that a ticket to space through Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin will likely run you about $250,000. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, "Zero-gravity Flights Resume With New Pandemic Protocols," 6 Aug. 2020 The journey to space and back will be automated; the passengers won’t need Hurley’s Marine Corps background, or Behnken’s Air Force experience, or two decades’ worth of NASA employment. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Spaceflight Is Back in America," 3 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about space

Time Traveler for space

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for space

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Space.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!