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

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Experiments are spreading California is not the only state trying to improve student outcomes, or to make policy in the absence of federal action. NBC News, "California takes lead in helping students get to college — and stay there," 3 Dec. 2019 The flame spread, and the passengers were trapped inside; when the door was finally pushed open, the rush of oxygen sparked a fireball. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India," 2 Dec. 2019 The highly contagious viral infection spread rapidly, and officials declared a state of emergency by mid-November. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Measles outbreak spurred by anti-vaxxers shuts down Samoan government," 2 Dec. 2019 Now that nearly everyone owns a smartphone, the plague of screen addiction has spread democratically throughout the world. Wired, "Society Photographer Turns His Lens on Smartphone Addiction," 2 Dec. 2019 Certain species of mosquito, for instance, spread West Nile, Zika and malaria. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the World Needs Bloodsucking Creatures," 2 Dec. 2019 This paradox has spread to the bond markets as well, pushing many yields to zero or lower. Fortune Staff, Fortune, "2020 Crystal Ball: Predictions for the Economy, Politics, Technology, and More," 2 Dec. 2019 But the Sooners’ spread poses a whole other challenge. USA TODAY, "Bold predictions for Week 14 in college football," 30 Nov. 2019 From time to time, rumors spread that the doctor was sick, even dying. Mark Johnson, USA Today, "In a Wisconsin village, the doctor makes house calls — and sees the rarest diseases on Earth," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As news spread of the monstrous crime, protests erupted in Hyderabad and later expanded to cities including Bengaluru and India's capital, New Delhi. Swati Gupta, CNN, "A shocking gang-rape and murder of a woman is raising familiar tough questions for India," 3 Dec. 2019 When the oven comes to temperature, arrange up to 4 portions of cold dough on the prepared pans, leaving ample space between them to account for spread. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Thank the Big Apple for these humongous chocolate chip cookies," 2 Dec. 2019 The big underlying story of Michigan’s 2019 season was the arrival of Josh Gattis as the offensive coordinator and its transition from a pro-style offense to the spread. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Michigan football’s Shea Patterson needs a win vs. Ohio State to keep perfect home record: Wolverine Watch," 27 Nov. 2019 To show that Christian dogma caused this shift, the authors match historical data on the spread of religion with modern indicators. The Economist, "Medieval Catholicism nudged Europe towards democracy and development," 23 Nov. 2019 After a similar ban in 2014, relaxed in 2017, the demand for pure nickel led to the spread of energy-intensive smelters, threatening to cause respiratory problems and water contamination. Ian Morse, Anchorage Daily News, "Mining turned Indonesian seas red. The drive for greener cars could herald a new toxic tide.," 22 Nov. 2019 Three cases of plague have been diagnosed in China, sparking widespread fears about the spread of the disease, though officials say the risk of an outbreak is low. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Three Cases of Plague Diagnosed in China," 18 Nov. 2019 That’s an interesting fact, given that social media has also been identified as the vector for the spread of the VSCO Girl phenomenon in the U.S. and elsewhere. David Meyer, Fortune, "Social Media May Be Killing Makeup Sales in the West, But It’s Boosting Them in China," 18 Nov. 2019 Sepsis, a toxic condition resulting from the spread of infection, results in 270,000 deaths a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Amanda Klarsfeld, sun-sentinel.com, "Spanish River High team working on sepsis-detecting technology," 14 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for spread

Time Traveler

The first known use of spread was in the 13th century

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Statistics for spread

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Spread.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spreading. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for spread

spread

verb
How to pronounce spread (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spread

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spread

Spanish Central: Translation of spread

Nglish: Translation of spread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spread for Arabic Speakers

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