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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The new measures have been met with widespread outrage from human rights activists, Indian Australians and even politicians in Morrison's own party. Joshua Berlinger And Adam Renton, CNN, "The latest on Covid-19 and India's worsening crisis," 4 May 2021 Those ghost credits represent nearly one in three credits issued through California’s primary forest offset program, highlighting systemic flaws in the rules and suggesting widespread gaming of the market. ProPublica, "The Climate Solution Actually Adding Millions of Tons of CO2 Into the Atmosphere," 4 May 2021 Drought, famine, widespread food shortages, and a collapse of environmental norms will likely follow. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Your next refrigerator or AC will be a lot different because of new laws," 4 May 2021 Reducing penalties for drug offenses has attracted bipartisan agreement, with widespread acknowledgment that punishment for crack cocaine, a drug lawmakers associated with African-Americans, has been disproportionately severe. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Considers Leniency Bid for Crack-Cocaine Offense," 4 May 2021 The agreement calls for widespread changes to police force and Taser policies, training, supervision and oversight, a restructuring of police crisis intervention services and quicker investigations into alleged police misconduct. oregonlive, "City-hired consultants blast Portland police analysis of bureau’s handling of mass protests as ‘tone deaf’," 4 May 2021 Despite some of those more optimistic historical patterns, there's a widespread idea that share prices might be due for a breather after an incredible recent run. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "Should you ‘sell in May’? Not this year, say experts," 4 May 2021 But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 3 May 2021 Series like Dragnet, The Wire, and Watchmen have all touched on issues of police misconduct, but Line of Duty stands mostly alone in its unflinching look at widespread corruption within police departments. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "In the UK’s biggest TV drama in decades, cops are the villains," 3 May 2021

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.

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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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Widespread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widespread. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for widespread



English Language Learners Definition of widespread

: common over a wide area or among many people


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

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