1

spread-eagle

verb spread-ea·gle \ ˈspred-ˌē-gəl \

Definition of spread-eagle

spread-eagled; spread-eagling play \ˈspred-ˌē-g(ə-)liŋ\
1 : to execute a spread eagle (as in skating)
2 : to stand or move with arms and legs stretched out : sprawl
1 : to stretch out into the position of a spread eagle
2 : to spread over

First Known Use of spread-eagle

1826

in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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2

spread-eagle

adjective

Definition of spread-eagle

: marked by bombast and boastful exaggeration especially of the greatness of the U.S.
  • spread-eagle oratory

Origin and Etymology of spread-eagle

from the spread eagle on the Great Seal of the U.S.


spread eagle

noun

Definition of spread eagle

1 : a representation of an eagle with wings raised and legs extended
2 : something resembling or suggestive of a spread eagle; specifically : a skating figure executed with the skates heel to heel in a straight line

Recent Examples of spread eagle from the Web

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

First Known Use of spread eagle

1550

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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