wide·spread | \ˈwīd-ˈspred \

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 promotion gained widespread attention because of the steep discount on the wares: The bears, which are normally valued around $35, would cost between a minimum of $1 and a maximum of $29 during the promotion, the company said. Katie Camero, BostonGlobe.com, "Build-A-Bear halts ‘Pay Your Age’ deal after it proved too popular," 12 July 2018 Bitcoin drew widespread attention last year when massive inflows of speculative investment drove its price to about $20,000. Alexander Osipovich, WSJ, "New York Stock Exchange Executive to Join Winklevoss Bitcoin Firm," 6 July 2018 These are two countries whose excellence in player development is sure to garner even more widespread attention. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Quarterfinal Stage a Narrative Tipping Point for World Cup Contenders," 5 July 2018 His post has been shared nearly 30,000 times and gained widespread media attention. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Photos of "breast-feeding" dad go viral," 3 July 2018 So this idea that somehow there was widespread voter fraud occurring across this country … is false. Lindsay Wise, kansascity, "Voter fraud much greater threat than election hacking, Missouri's Jay Ashcroft says," 20 June 2018 The Kansas City Star, in a monthslong investigation, found widespread problems within America’s fire service. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 There is also the small matter of widespread allegations of malfeasance and corruption involved in the bidding process, and some lingering sour grapes that the United States missed out because of it. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Qatar is the World Cup every fan should attend," 13 July 2018 In February, a federal grand jury indicted three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens on charges of engaging in a widespread effort to meddle in the 2016 campaign through social-media messages, invented fake personas and staged rallies. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Mueller Probe Indicts 12 Russians in Hacking of DNC and Clinton Campaign," 13 July 2018

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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Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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The first known use of widespread was in 1582

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English Language Learners Definition of widespread

: common over a wide area or among many people


wide·spread | \ˈwīd-ˈspred \

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).


one that holds something together

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