suburban sprawl


Definition of suburban sprawl

: the spreading of developments (such as housing developments and shopping centers) into suburban or rural areas : urban sprawl It's easy to decry suburban sprawl, McMansions sprouting in farm fields, and forests being bulldozed for tract houses.— Charles Lindsay, Audubon, September-October 2004

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of suburban sprawl

1938, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about suburban sprawl

Time Traveler for suburban sprawl

Time Traveler

The first known use of suburban sprawl was in 1938

See more words from the same year

Statistics for suburban sprawl

Cite this Entry

“Suburban sprawl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

Comments on suburban sprawl

What made you want to look up suburban sprawl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!