spread-eagle

verb
spread-ea·gle | \ˈspred-ˌē-gəl \
spread-eagled; spread-eagling\ˈspred-ˌē-g(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of spread-eagle 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to execute a spread eagle (as in skating)

2 : to stand or move with arms and legs stretched out : sprawl

transitive verb

1 : to stretch out into the position of a spread eagle

2 : to spread over

spread-eagle

adjective

Definition of spread-eagle (Entry 2 of 3)

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

spread eagle

noun

Definition of spread eagle (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Examples of spread-eagle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Espanyol striker Raul Tamudo sneaked in behind the hosts' defence and slid his attempt past the spread eagle keeper to level things up, not only in the tie but also in the title chase, however, Los Blancos held the upper hand in the head-to-head. SI.com, "Espanyol vs Barcelona Match Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More," 3 Feb. 2018

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

Verb

1826, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Adjective

1853, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spread-eagle

Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for spread-eagle

The first known use of spread-eagle was in 1550

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