spread

verb
\ ˈspred \
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 \ noun
spreadable \ ˈspre-​də-​bəl \ 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

For the first time since 2015, that's what Sunny Cove will do, making every workload faster, not merely those that can spread to ever-larger numbers of threads. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Intel unveils a new architecture for 2019: Sunny Cove," 12 Dec. 2018 What happens if the U.S. introduces a life form into a local ecosystem designed to eat tank armor that later spreads beyond the conflict zone and starts eating steel? Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Military Wants to Create Synthetic Life Forms to Track Enemies," 4 Dec. 2018 Right now, our support is coming from the curvy girls themselves or even bloggers that spread the word. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Precious Lee and Candice Huffine Really Think of Fashion’s Diversity Problem," 29 Oct. 2018 And the peppers, and the onions—all griddled, then spread across the top to add sweetness. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 By the latter stages, with break chances so rare, murmurs would spread through the Centre Court stands whenever a game's returner got to love-15 or love-30. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois alumnus Kevin Anderson beats John Isner in longest semifinal in Wimbledon history," 13 July 2018 The infection can spread from the intestines to the blood stream and other parts of the body. CBS News, "CDC warning on Kellogg's Honey Smacks: "Do not eat this cereal"," 13 July 2018 After disembarking and being greeted by Walsh Thursday morning, the campers quickly spread out, enjoying various camp activities. J.d. Capelouto, BostonGlobe.com, "At harbor island camp, teens train to be civic leaders," 13 July 2018 Russia was identified as being behind a large-scale campaign to sow division in advance of the 2016 election through the use of hateful, misleading and divisive information spread across major social media platforms. Eli Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "How anonymous tweets helped ignite a national controversy over MAGA hat teens," 23 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unfortunately, even the best cough and sneeze etiquette can’t fully stop the spread of disease, Dr. Roach explains. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Here’s How Far Germs Spread Through Sneezing and Coughing," 13 Feb. 2019 Bizarre theories being peddled, such as Meghan faking her pregnancy, is just one way in which Twitter enables the spread of toxic commentary that has no bearing on reality. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "How the Internet’s Obsession with the Royal Family Turned Toxic," 10 Feb. 2019 Decarbonizing transportation will involve radically accelerating the spread of electric vehicles, possibly by banning gasoline and diesel vehicle sales by 2030, and figuring out what to do with aviation and heavy transport. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 The military has used Facebook to help spread propaganda to support that mission, and Facebook has been criticized for moving too slowly to stop the spread of this propaganda. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook removed hundreds more accounts linked to the Myanmar military for posting hate speech and attacks against ethnic minorities," 19 Dec. 2018 Users on these sites link to YouTube more than to any other website, thousands of times a day, according to the recent work of Data and Society and the Network Contagion Research Institute, both of which track the spread of hate speech. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Congress missed another chance to hold big tech accountable," 12 Dec. 2018 The advent of self-parking lots, and the expansion of parking minimums, zoning codes that asked developers to include a set number of parking spots for businesses and residential projects, only exacerbated the spread of parking spots and spaces. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why valet parking is the future of smarter urban transit," 6 Aug. 2018 Prince Harry and Sir Elton John are joining forces for a new global initiative that will combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry and Sir Elton John Are Fighting Against AIDS Together," 24 July 2018 This is the latest volley in Twitter’s intensifying battle to stem the spread of abuse, misinformation and propaganda. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Why Donald Trump and Barack Obama are about to lose a lot of Twitter followers," 11 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

15 Feb 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 \
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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