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

Land Rover spreads some love to its smallest and most affordable SUV, the Discovery Sport, with several significant improvements for 2020. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Adds Style and a Hybrid Model," 21 May 2019 There are plenty of ways to spread hope and change without dollar bills. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Where to Donate and How to Help Keep Abortion Legal," 17 May 2019 In an attempt to spread awareness, many stars have spoken out and warned against the scam on social media. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Is Kelly Ripa Leaving 'Live' in 2019? Here's the Truth About Those Beauty Line Rumors," 14 May 2019 Instead of limiting the admission of skilled workers, immigration authorities should aim to spread the benefits throughout the nation. Matthew J. Slaughter, WSJ, "Immigrants for the Heartland," 28 Apr. 2019 The final straw for Moreno was WikiLeaks’ decision to spread information about a purported offshore account controlled by the president’s brother. Gonzalo Solano, The Seattle Times, "Exasperated Ecuador ends asylum for world’s worst houseguest," 13 Apr. 2019 The iconic singer, songwriter, and activist is using social media to spread awareness of the extreme injustices faced by women and girls worldwide. James White; Fashion Editor: Cassie Anderson, Harper's BAZAAR, "Annie Lennox Talks Her Global Feminist Movement, and How You Can Join Her," 8 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, Libya, Iran, the Philippines, and Bangladesh were all found to have built troll armies to spread propaganda and target government critics for harassment. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Facebook," 26 Dec. 2018 The activities encouraged those most likely to support Trump to get out to vote while actively trying to spread confusion and discourage voting among those most likely to oppose him. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Massive scale of Russian election trolling revealed in draft Senate report," 17 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The spread of salmonella can also occur when people don’t wash their hands properly after using the bathroom. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Salmonella," 2 May 2019 Some school districts in the U.S. are booting unvaccinated students from campuses where infectious-disease cases have been confirmed, as the spread of measles accelerates in some states. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "As Measles Spreads, Schools Turn Away Unvaccinated Students," 13 Apr. 2019 Future Log: This four-page spread is a year-at-a-glance calendar with future events, goals, and long-term tasks. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "What Is a Bullet Journal? Everything You Need to Know Before You BuJo," 30 Jan. 2019 Currently, the process of designing, testing, and manufacturing a vaccine to prevent the spread of a new pathogen takes years. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 In rural environments, the spread of resistant species might be slow. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 The bottom line is that the alarming spread of STDs is a public health crisis reaching critical mass, and must be addressed on both a micro and macro level for real change. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "STD Rates Have Hit an All-Time High in the U.S.—And Here’s Why," 29 Aug. 2018 The move is a response to criticism that the spread of rumors and false stories on its platform has led to people suffering physical harm in countries around the world, Dow Jones reported. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump briefed on Putin meddling before inauguration; Nunes suggests DOJ, FBI want Dems to win," 19 July 2018 Despite the spread of positive results, traps in most communities aren’t turning up repeat positive batches, Zazra said. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "Heat, rain, mean earlier mosquito spray operations in Wilmette, Winnetka," 9 July 2018

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

24 May 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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