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

Con Edison says a preliminary review of Saturday’s blackout shows that the relay system at a West 65th Street substation should have kept the problem from spreading. Washington Post, "The Latest: Con Ed: Relay system failure led to blackout," 15 July 2019 Standard protocol at the time, quarantine was meant to prevent any potentially harmful moon microbes from spreading to Earth. Mark Thiessen, National Geographic, "Trees that traveled to space now live on Earth. Here's where to find them.," 8 July 2019 The counter-protesters say their goal is to outnumber the other protest, and stop the alt-right and white nationalism from spreading. CBS News, "Heavy police presence in Washington for "Demand Free Speech" rally," 6 July 2019 While the fight against the current Ebola outbreak in the Congo has been hampered by violence, international health organizations hope that experimental vaccines will prevent it from spreading as widely as the last epidemic. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Airplanes That Rescue Ebola Patients," 5 July 2019 Mowry said firefighters managed to cut the vegetation around the perimeter of the fire Wednesday to keep it from spreading, though flare-ups shortly after midnight threw embers outside the containment line, igniting additional flames. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "East Anchorage wildfire expected to be out in 2-3 days, fire officials say," 5 July 2019 The only thing keeping them from spreading north is the relatively colder weather. Doug Criss, CNN, "Florida is being overrun with iguanas. Homeowners are now allowed to kill them," 3 July 2019 Two years later, the state imposed a quarantine to prevent ROD from spreading to other islands. NBC News, "Sacred Hawaiian tree species threatened by deadly fungus; tourists can help save it," 30 June 2019 When pores are clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, the pores can rupture under the skin, causing the inflammation to spill out into the surrounding tissue and the body forms a cyst around it to stop the inflammation from spreading. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "What Is Acne? What Causes Pimples and How to Treat Them," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Europe has been at the forefront of regulating the tech industry on issues like antitrust, tax evasion, privacy protection, and the spread of hate speech and other harmful content. Adam Satariano, BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon faces EU inquiry over data from independent sellers," 17 July 2019 Win the presidency, hold the House and narrow the spread in the Senate, and a lot of good things still can be accomplished. oregonlive.com, "Political tastemakers try to warn Democratic voters: Don’t go too far left if you want to beat Donald Trump," 17 July 2019 Vanderbilt University researchers found differences in how tau, a protein that destroys nerve cells, spreads in the brains of women compared to men. Los Angeles Times, "Alzheimer’s affects women more than men. Now scientists have some clues as to why," 16 July 2019 Foresters, meanwhile, simply want to slow the spread of the pest. USA TODAY, "Crystal Cathedral reborn Catholic, 'Conjuring' house, Wiki ‘editathon’: News from around our 50 states," 11 July 2019 Still, those efforts don’t seem to be slowing the spread of the calls, which have reached epidemic proportions. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "FCC commissioner blasts carriers for failure to fight robocalls," 11 July 2019 The discovery in Northern California was a setback for state and federal efforts to slow the spread of the fungus. Louis Sahagun, latimes.com, "A deadly fungus is killing millions of bats in the U.S. Now it’s in California," 5 July 2019 The discovery in Northern California was a setback for state and federal efforts to slow the spread of the fungus. Louis Sahagun, SFChronicle.com, "A deadly fungus is killing millions of bats in the US. Now it’s in California," 5 July 2019 Zuckerberg said the company flagged it as misinformation to slow the spread of it on the social network. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook is Working on a Policy for Policing Deepfake Videos," 26 June 2019

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

19 Jul 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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