\ ˈsplā How to pronounce splay (audio) \
splayed; splaying; splays

Definition of splay

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to spread outward
2 : to make oblique : bevel

intransitive verb

1 : to extend apart or outward especially in an awkward manner
2 : slope, slant



Definition of splay (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a slope or bevel especially of the sides of a door or window



Definition of splay (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : turned outward splay knees

Examples of splay in a Sentence

Verb He sat with his legs splayed apart. She splayed her fingers to show off her manicure. His fingers splayed out over the table as he steadied himself.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And the super-roomy toe box allowed my feet to splay out with each step. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 26 Apr. 2019 More significantly, the roomy toe box and flexibility of the plate allowed my toes to splay and move naturally, creating a smooth, compact, stable, and snappy ride. Brian Metzler, Outside Online, 25 Apr. 2022 Forward of the secure midfoot, the toe box widens out enough to let your forefoot splay comfortably and flex with unrestricted power. Jonathan Beverly, Outside Online, 28 May 2020 The last offers a wider forefoot to let the foot splay out across the pedal. Tim Newcomb, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Shadows splay in every direction on glowing green grass. New York Times, 18 June 2021 Typically, as the tyre rolls along, the slits splay out and suck water up off the ground, directing it into wide grooves that are cut around the tyre’s circumference. Laurie Winkless, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 Click on Birmingham and there's a map of activities splayed across the city’s downtown for Dream Cruise 2020. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 20 May 2020 Think: women splayed out on the subway station benches in silk gowns and pearls or, for Lapierre’s latest collection, classic paintings of women by Vittorio Reggianini, each superimposed with surgical face masks. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, 20 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Chagossians bent to their knees and kissed the sand, leaving a splay of palm prints. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, 15 June 2022 The shoe is snug in the heel but wide in the forefoot, allowing for toe splay and blood flow. Cory Smith, Outside Online, 27 May 2022 The upper also provides a more generous fit than other Skechers, accommodating those looking for a wider forefoot and toe splay. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 19 May 2021 The upper fit was found true to size and the toe box ample for most, but not wide enough for those who count on full splay or who have a high volume foot. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 27 Apr. 2020 The toe-splay-accommodating fit provides a comfortable, connected and stable feel. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 4 June 2021 Three easy exercises are the short foot, foot splay and toe yoga. Jonathan Beverly, Outside Online, 4 Jan. 2022 While true to Altra’s natural running formula of equal cushioning heel to toe with plenty of toe-splay room in the forefoot, the Provision 5 is not minimalist. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 16 June 2021 As expected from Altra, the toe box is wide enough for full splay and combines with the zero-drop geometry for a stable, natural, balanced platform. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 13 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'splay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of splay


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for splay


Middle English, short for displayen — more at display entry 1

Learn More About splay

Time Traveler for splay

Time Traveler

The first known use of splay was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near splay



splayed arch

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Statistics for splay

Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Splay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/splay. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of splay for Spanish Speakers


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