Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To open to a fuller extent or width; stretch: spread out the tablecloth; a bird spreading its wings.
  • transitive v. To make wider the gap between; move farther apart: spread her fingers.
  • transitive v. To distribute over a surface in a layer: spread varnish on the steps.
  • transitive v. To cover with a layer: spread a cracker with butter.
  • transitive v. To distribute widely: The tornado spread destruction.
  • transitive v. To make a wide or extensive arrangement of: We spread the bicycle parts out on the floor.
  • transitive v. To exhibit or display the full extent of: the scene that was spread before us.
  • transitive v. To cause to become widely seen or known; scatter or disseminate: spread the news; spread the beam of the flashlight.
  • transitive v. To prepare (a table) for eating; set.
  • transitive v. To arrange (food or a meal) on a table.
  • transitive v. To flatten (a rivet end, for example) by pounding.
  • intransitive v. To be extended or enlarged.
  • intransitive v. To become distributed or widely dispersed.
  • intransitive v. To increase in range of occurrence; become known or prevalent over a wide area: The word spread fast.
  • intransitive v. To be exhibited, displayed, or visible in broad or full extent: the vista spread seemingly to infinity.
  • intransitive v. To become or admit of being distributed in a layer.
  • intransitive v. To become separated; be forced farther apart.
  • n. The act of spreading.
  • n. Dissemination, as of news; diffusion.
  • n. An open area of land; an expanse.
  • n. A ranch, a farm, or an estate.
  • n. The extent or limit to which something is or can be spread; range.
  • n. A cloth covering for a bed, table, or other piece of furniture.
  • n. Informal An abundant meal laid out on a table.
  • n. A food to be spread on bread or crackers.
  • n. Two facing pages of a magazine or newspaper, often with related matter extending across the fold.
  • n. A story or advertisement running across two or more columns of a magazine or newspaper.
  • n. A difference, as between two figures or totals.
  • n. A position taken in two or more options or futures contracts in order to profit from a change in their relative prices.
  • n. The difference between the price asked and bid for a particular security.
  • n. A number of points offered to equalize the chances of winning in a wager on a competition, usually between sports teams. Also called point spread.
  • n. Wingspread.
  • idiom spread (oneself) thin To work on too many projects: overextend oneself.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of spreading or something that has been spread.
  • n. An expanse of land.
  • n. A large tract of land used to raise livestock; a cattle ranch
  • n. A piece of material used as a cover (such as a bedspread).
  • n. A large meal, especially one laid out on a table.
  • n. Any form of food designed to be spread such as butters or jams
  • n. An item in a newspaper or magazine that occupies more than one column or page.
  • n. A numerical difference.
  • n. The difference between the wholesale and retail prices.
  • n. The difference between the price of a futures month and the price of another month of the same commodity.
  • n. The purchase of a futures contract of one delivery month against the sale of another futures delivery month of the same commodity.
  • n. The purchase of one delivery month of one commodity against the sale of that same delivery month of a different commodity.
  • n. An arbitrage transaction of the same commodity in two markets, executed to take advantage of a profit from price discrepancies.
  • n. The difference between bidding and asking price.
  • n. The difference between the prices of two similar items.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. & p. p. of spread, v.
  • n. Extent; compass.
  • n. Expansion of parts.
  • n. A cloth used as a cover for a table or a bed.
  • n. A table, as spread or furnished with a meal; hence, an entertainment of food; a feast.
  • n. A privilege which one person buys of another, of demanding certain shares of stock at a certain price, or of delivering the same shares of stock at another price, within a time agreed upon.
  • n. An unlimited expanse of discontinuous points.
  • n. An arbitrage transaction operated by buying and selling simultaneously in two separate markets, as Chicago and New York, when there is an abnormal difference in price between the two markets. It is called a back spreadwhen the difference in price is less than the normal one.
  • n. Surface in proportion to the depth of a cut stone.
  • intransitive v. To extend in length and breadth in all directions, or in breadth only; to be extended or stretched; to expand.
  • intransitive v. To be extended by drawing or beating.
  • intransitive v. To be made known more extensively, as news.
  • intransitive v. To be propagated from one to another.
  • transitive v. To extend in length and breadth, or in breadth only; to stretch or expand to a broad or broader surface or extent; to open; to unfurl.
  • transitive v. To extend so as to cover something; to extend to a great or greater extent in every direction; to cause to fill or cover a wide or wider space.
  • transitive v. To divulge; to publish, as news or fame; to cause to be more extensively known; to disseminate; to make known fully.
  • transitive v. To propagate; to cause to affect great numbers.
  • transitive v. To diffuse, as emanations or effluvia; to emit.
  • transitive v. To strew; to scatter over a surface.
  • transitive v. To prepare; to set and furnish with provisions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To scatter; disperse; rout.
  • To distribute over a surface as by strewing, sprinkling, smearing, plastering, or overlaying.
  • To flatten out; stretch or draw out into a sheet or layer.
  • To extend or stretch out to the full size; unfold; display by unfolding, stretching, expanding, or the like.
  • To lay or set out; outspread; display, as something to be viewed in its full extent.
  • To reach out: extend.
  • To send out in all directions; scatter or shed abroad; disseminate; diffuse; propagate.
  • To overspread; overlay the surface of.
  • Hence—9. To cover or equip in the proper manner; set; lay: as, to spread a table.
  • To set forth; recount at full length; hence, in recent use, to enter or record.
  • To push apart: as, the weight of the train spread the rails.
  • Synonyms To scatter, circulate, publish.
  • To become scattered or distributed.
  • To stretch one's self out, especially in a horizontal position.
  • To be outspread; hence, to have great breadth; be broad.
  • To become extended by growth or expansion; increase in extent; expand; grow.
  • To be extended by communication or propagation; become diffused; be shed abroad.
  • To be pushed apart, as the rails of a cartrack.
  • To set a table; lay the cloth or dishes for a meal.
  • Extended in area; having a broad surface; broad.
  • Shallower than the standard; having insufficient depth or thickness for the highest luster: said of a gem.
  • Nautical, a sailor or other person lashed in the rigging or elsewhere with arms and legs outspread: a form of punishment.
  • In cookery, a fowl split open down the back and broiled.
  • In the language of the stock exchange, a straddle.
  • n. The act of spreading or extending; propagation; diffusion: as, the spread of knowledge.
  • n. The state, condition, quality, or capability of being outspread; expansion: as, the tail of the peacock has an imposing spread.
  • n. The amount of extension or expansion, especially in surface; expanse; breadth; compass.
  • n. Hence—4. See the quotation.
  • n. A stretch; an expanse.
  • n. Capacity for spreading or stretching.
  • n. That which is spread or set out, as on a table; a meal; a feast; especially, a meal, more or less elaborate, given to a select party.
  • n. A cloth used for a covering, as of a table or bed; a coverlet.
  • n. The privilege of demanding shares of stock at a certain price, or of delivering shares of stock at another price, within a certain time agreed on.
  • n. A saddle.
  • n. Among lapidaries, a stone which has a large surface in proportion to its thickness.
  • n. In zoology, the measure from tip to tip of the spread wings, as of a bat, a bird, or an insect; the expanse or extent.
  • n. In mathematics, a continuous manifold of points: thus, space is a three-way spread.
  • n. In mathematics: A continuous or discontinuous connected aggregate, assemblage, or manifold of elements: thus, for instance, a two-spread may be considered as a surface with points or lines as elements.
  • n. In bacteriology, same as smear, 6.
  • n. A misère or grando, in any game of cards in which the single player's cards are placed face up on the table. See skat and boston.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. move outward
  • n. a meal that is well prepared and greatly enjoyed
  • v. become distributed or widespread
  • n. decorative cover for a bed
  • n. a tasty mixture to be spread on bread or crackers or used in preparing other dishes
  • v. cause to become widely known
  • v. strew or distribute over an area
  • v. cover by spreading something over
  • n. act of extending over a wider scope or expanse of space or time
  • n. farm consisting of a large tract of land along with facilities needed to raise livestock (especially cattle)
  • adj. fully extended in width
  • n. two facing pages of a book or other publication
  • adj. distributed or spread over a considerable extent
  • adj. prepared or arranged for a meal; especially having food set out
  • v. distribute over a surface in a layer
  • v. distribute or disperse widely
  • n. the expansion of a person's girth (especially at middle age)
  • n. process or result of distributing or extending over a wide expanse of space
  • n. a conspicuous disparity or difference as between two figures
  • v. spread across or over
  • v. spread out or open from a closed or folded state
  • v. become widely known and passed on
  • n. a haphazard distribution in all directions

Etymologies

Middle English spreden, from Old English -sprǣdan (as in tōsprǣdan, to spread out).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English spreden, from Old English sprǣdan ("to spread, expand"), from Proto-Germanic *spraidijanan (“to spread”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)per- (“to strew, sow, sprinkle”). Cognate with West Frisian spriede ("to spread"), North Frisian spriedjen ("to spread"), Dutch spreiden ("to spread"), Low German spreden ("to spread"), German spreiten ("to spread, spread out"), Norwegian spreida, spreie ("to spread, disseminate"), Swedish sprida ("to spread"). (Wiktionary)

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