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 Yet more than 18 months into the pandemic, personality change — which was recently singled out as one of the most disruptive Long Covid symptoms in a survey of those who’ve experienced it — hasn’t become a topic of widespread discussion. Elizabeth Yuko, Rolling Stone, 19 Oct. 2021 This third evolution sees not just widespread household penetration of smart TVs but increasing functionality. Gavin Bridge, Variety, 19 Oct. 2021 The findings detailed widespread lapses in training, coordination, communication, fire preparedness, equipment maintenance and overall command and control. Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Oct. 2021 In public remarks last month, Richard Cordray, the Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid at the Department of Education, suggested that the ongoing discussion of widespread student loan cancellation did a disservice for borrowers. Adam S. Minsky, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 This year, however, there has been a rebound, as widespread access to Covid-19 vaccines paved the way for social gatherings and a return to the office for some. Corrie Driebusch, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2021 However, experts say tragedies like the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died of Covid-19 complications despite being fully vaccinated, further underscore the need for widespread vaccination. Aj Willingham, CNN, 19 Oct. 2021 The prospect of rain is tantalizing to a region still in the grips of punishing, widespread drought. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Oct. 2021 About 40 percent of China’s 1.4 billion people still live in the countryside, where owning a multigenerational family home is a widespread aspiration. Washington Post, 19 Oct. 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

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Widespread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widespread. Accessed 26 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on widespread

Nglish: Translation of widespread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of widespread for Arabic Speakers


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