wide·​ly ˈwīd-lē How to pronounce widely (audio)
: over or through a wide area
has traveled widely
: to a great extent
departed widely from the previous edition
: by or among a large well-dispersed group of people
a widely known political figure
: over a broad range
persons with widely fluctuating incomes Current Biography

Example Sentences

Their products are widely available. a widely known political figure The books are widely read by adults as well as children.
Recent Examples on the Web News of the suspicious death–and lack of arrests– was shared widely on social media, leading to the hashtag #justiceeforshanquella on Twitter, which raised the profile of the case. Malaika Jabali, Essence, 16 Nov. 2022 The image was shared widely on social media, including in a Nov. 7 Instagram post that garnered more than 100 likes in three days. Ana Faguy, USA TODAY, 15 Nov. 2022 The high emotions of the city were summed up in a 9-second video that was shared widely across social media this weekend. Marc Smith, NBC News, 14 Nov. 2022 The moment was taped, and footage of the alarming accident has since been shared widely on social media. CBS News, 9 Nov. 2022 Boseman battled colon cancer before his death but had not widely shared his diagnosis. Marianne Garvey, CNN, 4 Nov. 2022 Of course, some delusions are more widely shared than others: Mr. Berns describes a former college student who thinks his brain has shrunk to half its normal size. Frank Rose, WSJ, 1 Nov. 2022 Graphic clips of the confrontation were widely shared on Facebook. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 27 Oct. 2022 Research funding is broken, a view widely shared among scientists. Adrian Barnett, STAT, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of widely was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near widely

Cite this Entry

“Widely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widely. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.