wide·​spread | \ ˈwīd-ˈspred How to pronounce widespread (audio) \

Definition of widespread

1 : widely diffused or prevalent widespread public interest
2 : widely extended or spread out low, widespread hood and fendersTime a widespread erosion surface— C. B. Hitchcock

Examples of widespread in a Sentence

There is widespread public interest in the election. Trade partners had become more widespread. There was widespread opposition to the plan.
Recent Examples on the Web First, available social science doesn't support the notion that climate disasters lead to widespread changes in public opinion. John D. Sutter, CNN, 16 May 2022 The announcement came amid the widespread easing of coronavirus restrictions. Editors, USA TODAY, 16 May 2022 Computer models, however, do indicate areas north and northeast of the Washington and Baltimore may see more ingredients come together for widespread severe weather. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, 16 May 2022 The policy changes come after a review that began soon after a series of widespread protests on the island last July. Chicago Tribune, 16 May 2022 But all of them take advantage of the same raw materials: the endless reproducibility of digital images; the widespread global availability of cheap English-speaking labor; and the world’s unquenchable desire for companionship. New York Times, 16 May 2022 North Korea rejected offers of vaccines before the current outbreak and its population is particularly vulnerable because of widespread malnutrition and the decrepit state of the medical system. Alastair Gale, WSJ, 16 May 2022 This is not the first time teacher preparation time has been at issue in a heated contract dispute, as the burden of the pandemic has led to widespread burnout. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 16 May 2022 The widespread effects are intensifying pressure on the Biden administration to craft a student debt relief plan; one proposal under consideration is federal forgiveness of at least $10,000 in debt for people making less than $125,000 a year. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of widespread

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for widespread

Time Traveler

The first known use of widespread was in 1582

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Statistics for widespread

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Widespread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widespread. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for widespread


wide·​spread | \ ˈwīd-ˈspred How to pronounce widespread (audio) \

Kids Definition of widespread

1 : widely stretched out widespread wings
2 : widely scattered widespread public interest

More from Merriam-Webster on widespread

Nglish: Translation of widespread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of widespread for Arabic Speakers


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