wide·​spread ˈwīd-ˈspred How to pronounce widespread (audio)
: widely diffused or prevalent
widespread public interest
: widely extended or spread out
low, widespread hood and fendersTime
a widespread erosion surfaceC. 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 In the past two decades, forest fires in the U.S. have become progressively more intense, frequent and widespread, according to climate scientists and wildfire experts. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 20 Nov. 2023 Storm totals between 1 and 2 inches should be widespread. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 Just as the Reign of Terror, a string of murders that struck the Osage Nation in the early 20th century, was more widespread than an FBI investigation suggested, the circumstances surrounding the 1741 wreck of the HMS Wager were more mysterious than survivors initially claimed. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Nov. 2023 This sentiment was widespread in Silicon Valley posting over the weekend, recalling the febrile climate earlier in the year when Silicon Valley Bank suddenly failed. Nick Lichtenberg, Fortune, 19 Nov. 2023 Louder, more widespread calls for donations can be heard around the country. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 17 Nov. 2023 The advent of widespread vaccination brought down case and death rates substantially, with the report estimating that about 57 million measles deaths were averted between 2000 and 2020 thanks to the vaccine. Helen Branswell, STAT, 16 Nov. 2023 Over a dozen lawsuits have been filed against Hawaiian Electric, and plaintiffs allege the company failed to take precautionary measures, leading to widespread damage. Eden Villalovas, Washington Examiner, 16 Nov. 2023 By Saturday, the storm was expected to clip the New England coast, including Cape Cod, but widespread significant rainfall totals were not expected. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'widespread.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of widespread was in 1582

Dictionary Entries Near widespread

Cite this Entry

“Widespread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widespread. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


wide·​spread ˈwīd-ˈspred How to pronounce widespread (audio)
: scattered or found over a wide area
widespread interest in the election
: spread out over a wide area
widespread wings

More from Merriam-Webster on widespread

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