splay

1 of 3

verb

splayed; splaying; splays

transitive verb

1
: to cause to spread outward
2
: to make oblique : bevel

intransitive verb

1
: to extend apart or outward especially in an awkward manner
2

splay

2 of 3

noun

1
: a slope or bevel especially of the sides of a door or window
2

splay

3 of 3

adjective

1
: turned outward
splay knees
2

Examples of splay in a Sentence

Verb He sat with his legs splayed apart. She splayed her fingers to show off her manicure. His fingers splayed out over the table as he steadied himself.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
At a treatment facility set up at a school in a dense suburb of Harare, nurses wearing latex gloves tended to patients splayed on cots. Jeffrey Moyo, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2024 With a generous toe box that allows your feet to splay and a zero-drop design to encourage a natural footstrike, these trail runners encourage a natural stride and can help strengthen muscles in your feet while improving posture. Maggie Slepian, Travel + Leisure, 7 Feb. 2024 One example was the baby grand piano splayed out on its back on Caribou Lane off Beverly Glen Boulevard. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 Photo: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta But here to give everyone a run for their money—and to put our color theory knowledge to the test—is Sabato De Sarno’s Gucci Rosso, which is currently splayed across billboards, buses, Instagram posts, and, of course, the designer’s debut collection. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 22 Sep. 2023 Cook, 15 minutes; turn off the heat, and let the rice stand, covered, until the grains are tender (but not splayed), 5-10 minutes. Bill Daley, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Handbags hanging on steel hooks, hot-pink mannequins draped in ties and frames splayed with jewelry exude a come-and-touch-me vibe. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 In the past few years the worm’s clean, futuristic look has experienced a renaissance inside and outside the space agency; it is now prominently splayed on the sides of spacecraft, T-shirts, sneakers and souvenirs. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 11 Dec. 2023 Walker emphasized the position of her body when authorities found it, supine below the staircase with her right foot splayed on a lower stair. Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times, 20 Dec. 2023
Noun
These continue to be a favorite for barefoot runners and hikers looking for maximum toe splay that even the wider toe box in traditional barefoot shoes doesn’t offer. Maggie Slepian, Travel + Leisure, 19 Jan. 2024 Bont makes a wider shoe than many others on the market, allowing greater toe splay and more comfort for wider midfoots, and this high-performing shoe comes in two width options to fit a wide range of foot shapes and sizes. Maggie Slepian, Travel + Leisure, 16 Oct. 2023 It is shaped like my foot, snugging and securing the heel and arch while relaxing and opening up at the ball to allow for toe splay and flex. Jonathan Beverly, Outside Online, 16 Apr. 2020 The forefoot is roomy (for natural toe splay) without feeling sloppy, and the 26-millimeter-thick foam from heel to toe is both soft and responsive, resulting in a notably enjoyable ride. Cory Smith, Outside Online, 29 Aug. 2021 Bit’s rural Maryland home, and Mark McCullough’s vivid lighting design, from the cool lapis of the early evening to the prismatic splay of teal, turquoise and rose pink that coyly suggests sunset, are the clearest signifiers of the production’s shifting settings and tones. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 For those who have wide feet, Altra stands out for its unique toe box design that allows for full toe splay. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 17 Feb. 2023 Merrell designed this pair specifically for women, with our specific toe splay, hip width, and arch propensities in mind. Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Apr. 2022 From the looks of the video, multiple vents were erupting from the New Southeast Crater, producing a splay of lava fountains during this intense strombolian eruption. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 3 Dec. 2013 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English splaien "to unfurl, spread out, spread-eagle, split (a fish) lengthwise and lay open," aphetic form of displaien "to unfurl (a banner), spread (the arms), display entry 1"

Noun

derivative of splay entry 1

Adjective

derivative of splay entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of splay was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near splay

Cite this Entry

“Splay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/splay. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

splay

verb
ˈsplā
: to spread out or apart
a colt with legs splayed out

More from Merriam-Webster on splay

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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