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

The counters are solid white to reflect the light streaming through the windows, and the kitchen features a modern backsplash that spreads to the shower and bathroom, ending at the bedroom. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Rare Airstream Trailer Was Transformed Into the Cutest Tiny Home," 28 Mar. 2019 The fire on the Grimaldi Grande America started in a container on the vessel’s deck, according to the company, and spread quickly to vehicles on board, forcing the crew to flee in a single lifeboat. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Ship Operators Raise Alarms Over String of Vessel Fires," 24 Mar. 2019 As the Moravian communities spread around the world, the sunrise service came with them, and soon Protestant churches celebrated it as well. Morin Bishop, Woman's Day, "What’s an Easter Sunrise Service? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 22 Mar. 2019 The life-threatening infection started in his ear canal and ended up spreading to the lining of his brain after years of struggling with ear pain and hearing loss issues but not knowing the root of the problem. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "A Man Developed a Near-Fatal Infection in His Brain Lining After Using a Cotton Swab," 15 Mar. 2019 But the movement has spread to many parts of the country — and in some cases turned deadly. Alex Ward, Vox, "France’s anti-Macron protests are turning deadlier," 3 Dec. 2018 Wind Gap’s teenagers don’t draw the line at much, but the townspeople’s general suspicion of John seems to have spread to the younger generation, and so now John and Ashley are outcasts. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 6: Camille Is in Deep Trouble," 13 Aug. 2018 In 2018, Ryan Seacrest hosted a dinner at his Beverly Hills spread that included a feast from chef Curtis Stone and a performance by country music star Luke Bryan. Jeremy Kinser, Town & Country, "Is This Star-Studded LACMA Party the Art World's American Idol?," 17 Mar. 2019 Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread as thin as possible. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Matzo Brittle," 7 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The focal point of the spread is a two-tiered cake covered in what looks like edible pearls and gold-tone accents. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "See the Adorable Dessert & Flowers from Meghan Markle's New York City Baby Shower," 27 Feb. 2019 The dress is a little splashed, a tiny bit nicotine tinged, compared to the one in Cecil Beaton’s glorious preparty portrait of her taken at Buckingham Palace, with its yards of periwinkle tulle spread about her—and all the more compelling for it. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Christian Dior, “Designer of Dreams,” Wows London—All Over Again," 30 Jan. 2019 As part of Wall Street Journal Magazine's Young Hollywood spread, Cole got the chance to photograph some of the biggest teen actors like Noah Centineo, Elsie Fisher, and Alisha Boe and the pictures are absolutely stunning. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Cole Sprouse Photographed Noah Centineo and Lana Condor and It’s Like a “Riverdale”/“TATBILB” Crossover," 15 Jan. 2019 What with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, data breaches, the founders of Instagram and WhatsApp fleeing, and violence as a result of misinformation spread on its platform, Facebook has had a devastating 2018. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "A breakdown of this year’s brand winners and losers.," 27 Dec. 2018 Tributes started to pour in as news of Paul's death spread on social media. Charles Ventura, USA TODAY, "Vinnie Paul, Pantera drummer and co-founder, dies at 54," 23 June 2018 The jihadist program facilitates the spread of radical Islam. WSJ, "Zimmerman’s Proposed Antiterror Strategy’s Unrealistic, President Trump Is Right About Terror," 27 Feb. 2019 Patients are advised to seek immediate medical attention while attempting to remain still to slow the spread of venom. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "California boy, 1, bitten by rattlesnake at daycare, dad claims," 18 Sep. 2018 Crews are working to build containment lines to prevent the spread of fire, but the difficult terrain is posing a challenge. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "More than 2,000 firefighters battling County Fire as blaze reaches 70,000 acres," 3 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

12 Apr 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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