from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To sit or lie with the body and limbs spread out awkwardly.
- intransitive v. To spread out in a straggling or disordered fashion: untidy tenements sprawling toward the river.
- transitive v. To cause to spread out in a straggling or disordered fashion.
- n. A sprawling position or posture.
- n. Haphazard growth or extension outward, especially that resulting from real estate development on the outskirts of a city: urban sprawl.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To sit with the limbs spread out.
- v. To spread out in a disorderly fashion; to straggle.
- n. An ungainly sprawling posture.
- n. A straggling, haphazard growth, especially of housing on the edge of a city.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To spread and stretch the body or limbs carelessly in a horizontal position; to lie with the limbs stretched out ungracefully.
- intransitive v. To spread irregularly, as vines, plants, or trees; to spread ungracefully, as chirography.
- intransitive v. To move, when lying down, with awkward extension and motions of the limbs; to scramble in creeping.
- n. The position or state resulting from sprawling.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To toss the limbs about; work the arms and legs convulsively; in general, to struggle convulsively.
- To work one's way awkwardly along with the aid. of all the limbs; crawl or scramble.
- To be spread out in an ungraceful posture; be stretched out carelessly and awkwardly.
- To have an irregular, spreading form or outline; straggle: said of handwriting, vines, etc.
- To widen or open irregularly, as a body of cavalry.
- To spread out ungracefully.
- n. The act of sprawling.
- n. A sprawling posture; an awkward recumbent attitude: as, to be stretched out in a careless sprawl.
- n. Motion; activity.
- n. A small twig or branch of a tree; a spray.
- n. Ability to spread one's self or to make a show or ‘splurge’; ‘go.’
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way
- n. an aggregation or continuous network of urban communities
- n. an ungainly posture with arms and legs spread about
- v. sit or lie with one's limbs spread out
Middle English sprawlen, from Old English sprēawlian, to writhe; see sper- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)