spread

verb
\ ˈspred How to pronounce spread (audio) \
spread; spreading

Definition of spread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to open or expand over a larger area spread out the map
b : to stretch out : extend spread its wings for flight
2a : to distribute over an area spread fertilizer
b : to distribute over a period or among a group spread the work over a few weeks
c : to apply on a surface spread butter on bread
d(1) : to cover or overlay something with spread the cloth on the table
(2) archaic : to cover completely
e(1) : to prepare or furnish for dining : set spread the table
(2) : serve spread the afternoon tea
3a : to make widely known spread the news
b : to extend the range or incidence of spread a disease
c : diffuse, emit flowers spreading their fragrance
4 : to push apart by weight or force

intransitive verb

1a : to become dispersed, distributed, or scattered
b : to become known or disseminated panic spread rapidly
2 : to grow in length or breadth : expand
3 : to move apart (as from pressure or weight) : separate

spread

noun

Definition of spread (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act or process of spreading
b : extent of spreading
2 : something spread out: such as
a : a surface area : expanse
b(1) : a ranch or homestead especially in the western U.S.
(2) Western US : a herd of animals
c(1) : a prominent display in a periodical
(2) : two facing pages (as of a newspaper) usually with matter running across the fold also : the matter occupying these pages
3 : something spread on or over a surface: such as
a : a food to be spread (as on bread or crackers) a cheese spread
b : a sumptuous meal : feast
c : a cloth cover for a table or bed
4 : distance between two points : gap
5 : a commodities market transaction in which a participant hedges with simultaneous long and short options in different commodities or different delivery dates in the same commodity

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Other Words from spread

Verb

spreadability \ ˌspre-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce spreadability (audio) \ noun
spreadable \ ˈspre-​də-​bəl How to pronounce spreadable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for spread

Synonyms: Verb

broadcast, circulate, disseminate, propagate

Synonyms: Noun

bedcover (also bedcovering), bedspread, counterpane, coverlet, hap [dialect]

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Examples of spread in a Sentence

Verb

The newspaper was spread across his lap. Her notes were spread all over the desk. Help me spread the cloth on the table. We spread fertilizer on our yard. The seeds are spread by wind, birds, and animals. The fire spread quickly through the building. The cancer has spread to her throat. The use of computer technology has spread into all fields of work. The odor spread throughout the room. The fashion quickly spread from France to England.

Noun

She offered crackers and a cheese spread. He uses low-fat spread on his toast.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Southwest Phoenix house and brush fires A quickly moving brush fire spread to a home near 51st Avenue and Elliot Road in the Laveen area before crews arrived, Phoenix fire officials said. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "Several brush fires in Phoenix area destroy a home, threaten a neighborhood," 18 June 2019 But his condition worsened and spread to his other limbs; doctors eventually needed to amputate all four limbs, though the man did survive. Rachael Rettner, Scientific American, "“Flesh-Eating” Bacteria May Be Spreading to Beaches Once Thought Off-Limits," 18 June 2019 It was first observed in house finches in 1994, and the disease has spread to American goldfinches, evening grosbeaks and purple finches. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Contagious house finch eye disease reported in Walnut Creek area," 17 June 2019 The fire destroyed phase two of the Metropolitan development, which was about 80 percent complete, and spread to a nearby law office. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al.com, "Residents told to vacate Metropolitan complex for fire repairs," 16 June 2019 The fire on Thursday broke out around 4 a.m. at the rabbi’s home, spreading to two neighboring houses and injuring at least 13 people, including three firefighters. New York Times, "Man With ‘Kill Rabbi Max’ Tattoo on Arm Is Arrested in Arson," 16 June 2019 Photo: Sarah Blesener for The Wall Street Journal Eureka’s good reviews from EdReports.org influenced teachers at P.S. 38, who tried it with one third-grade class in fall 2016 before spreading it to all third- and fourth-graders in the fall of 2017. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "New Math Curriculum Counts for This New York City School," 15 June 2019 The committee gathered for the third time after news emerged this week that the virus had spread from the DRC to neighboring Uganda, so far killing two people there—a 5-year-old boy and his grandmother—who had crossed the border. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "WHO unexpectedly declines, again, to call Ebola outbreak a global emergency," 14 June 2019 These firebrands landed throughout the city and set homes ablaze, which then spread to neighboring homes. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Blame Utilities for Wildfires. But Blame Everyone Else Too," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As the University of Maryland shares the latest survey results, entomologists there are urging beekeepers to use as many as three different strategies to fight the spread of varroa mites. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Honey bee losses highest in 13 years this winter, University of Maryland-led survey finds," 19 June 2019 But Marcus counters that this is not an issue, saying countries regard the spread of cryptocurrencies as inevitable, and that many will welcome Libra as a more efficient way for people to transfer money. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Facebook Announces Project Libra, Its Wildly Ambitious Plan to Bring Cryptocurrency to the Masses," 18 June 2019 Ironically, Nazi persecution hastened the spread of Bauhaus ideas because many of its instructors and most promising students fled Germany. Margo Pfeiff, latimes.com, "Exploring the birthplace of Bauhaus, a German movement that changed design," 16 June 2019 This effort aims to immunize case contacts and contacts-of-contacts to try to strategically thwart the spread of the disease. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Ebola spreads in Uganda, but not an international emergency, WHO says [Updated]," 14 June 2019 Its efforts are in line with a growing push for online platforms to curb the spread of hate speech and misinformation. New York Times, "The Week in Business: YouTube Flip-Flops on Hate Speech," 8 June 2019 But scholars have also seen the Opium War as showing how global processes—for example, the emergence of capitalism and the spread of imperialism—abruptly changed China’s historical trajectory. Kenneth Pomeranz, The New York Review of Books, "Blundering into War," 6 June 2019 Notably, YouTube says its efforts to stem the spread of hate speech will go beyond increased moderation. Paris Martineau, WIRED, "How Effective Will YouTube Be in Its Latest Ban on Extremism?," 5 June 2019 Chemotherapy and radiation therapy work to halt the spread of any remaining cancer cells. Trihealth, Cincinnati.com, "Advancing care for brain cancer," 4 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spread.' 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 spread

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spread

Verb

Middle English spreden, from Old English -sprǣdan; akin to Old High German spreiten to spread

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Statistics for spread

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spread

The first known use of spread was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for spread

spread

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to open, arrange, or place (something) over a large area
: to place (things) over a large area
: to become larger or to affect a larger area : to move into more places

spread

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spread (Entry 2 of 2)

: growth or increase that causes something to cover a larger area, affect a larger number of people, etc.
: a soft food that is spread on bread, crackers, etc.
: the total distance between the two outer edges of something

spread

verb
\ ˈspred How to pronounce spread (audio) \
spread; spreading

Kids Definition of spread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to stretch out : extend I spread my arms wide.
2 : to pass or cause to pass from person to person The news spread rapidly. Flies can spread disease.
3 : to open or arrange over a larger area The captain spread out a map.
4 : to increase in size or occurrence The fire keeps spreading. Cell phone use spread quickly.
5 : to scatter or be scattered spread fertilizer
6 : to give out over a period of time or among a group The boss spread work to make it last.
7 : to put or have a layer of on a surface He spread butter on bread.
8 : to cover something with Mom spread a cloth on the table.
9 : to stretch or move apart I spread my fingers open.
10 : to prepare for a meal : set The table was spread for dinner.

spread

noun

Kids Definition of spread (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of increasing in size, amount, or occurrence the spread of education
2 : the distance between two points that are farthest to each side the spread of a bird's wings
3 : a noticeable display in a magazine or newspaper
4 : a food to be put over the surface of bread or crackers cheese spread
5 : a very fine meal : feast
6 : a cloth cover for a table or bed

spread

noun

Legal Definition of spread

1a : the difference between any two prices for similar articles the spread between the list price and the market price of an article
b : the difference between the highest and lowest prices of a product or security for a given period
c : the difference between bid and asked prices (as of a stock)
2a : a simultaneous put option and call option in which the put price and the call price differ so that no profit is made unless the price falls below or rises above the put or call price respectively by more than enough to cover the cost of the option also : the difference between the put price and call price
b : a transaction in which a participant hedges with simultaneous long and short options in different commodities or different delivery dates in the same commodity
3 : an arbitrage transaction operated by buying and selling simultaneously in two markets when there is an abnormal difference in price between the two markets also : the difference in price
4 : the difference between the yields on investments in fixed-income securities equal in quality but with different maturity dates or with the same maturity dates but unequal quality

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More from Merriam-Webster on spread

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spread

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spread

Spanish Central: Translation of spread

Nglish: Translation of spread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spread for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spread

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