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

But the reaction to the raids was widespread and instant — examining the lengths authorities can go in Australia to potentially punish journalists and officials for exposing uncomfortable truths. Washington Post, "Australia’s hunt for leakers has journalists feeling exposed," 13 June 2019 But the limited scale of such checks, along with the Coast Guard’s troubling findings on Jeju, raise disturbing questions on how widespread, and dangerous, cargo weight-cheating might be. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "An Overloaded Ferry Flipped and Drowned Hundreds of Schoolchildren. Could It Happen Again?," 10 June 2019 Experts say the widespread and worrisome teen vaping epidemic is a major catalyst—but so is support from e-cigarette and tobacco companies, which has some health groups feeling uneasy. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Flurry of States Have Raised Their Smoking Ages. But Big Tobacco's Involvement Has Some Health Groups Uneasy," 10 June 2019 Physicians for Human Rights has said the war in Syria has seen the most widespread and systematic assault on health care documented in the world to date. Fox News, "Syria uses familiar tactic in rebel Idlib: Bombing civilians," 7 June 2019 The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to make robocall blocking the default stance with customers, in a move that could make call-blocking widespread. CBS News, "FCC paves the way for widespread blocking of robocalls," 6 June 2019 While technically a violation of platform policies, the listings are widespread and give underage vapers an easy way to vape without the hassle of in-person purchases. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Teen vapers are using eBay to dodge age restrictions," 5 June 2019 Quarantines and due process In its effort to prevent the spread of the disease in its facilities, ICE has enforced widespread, rolling quarantines that can put thousands of detainees on lockdown for weeks. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "ICE is struggling to contain spread of mumps in its detention centers," 3 June 2019 While the attacks aren't widespread, there have been enough of them to raise concern. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Hackers actively exploit WordPress plugin flaw to send visitors to bad sites," 29 May 2019

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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Statistics for widespread

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for widespread

The first known use of widespread was in 1582

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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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Comments on widespread

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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