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

  • adj. Wide in extent from side to side: a broad river; broad shoulders.
  • adj. Large in expanse; spacious: a broad lawn.
  • adj. Having a certain width from side to side: A sidewalk three feet broad.
  • adj. Full; open: broad daylight.
  • adj. Covering a wide scope; general: a broad rule.
  • adj. Liberal; tolerant: had broad views regarding social services. See Synonyms at broad-minded.
  • adj. Relating to or covering the main facts or the essential points.
  • adj. Plain and clear; obvious: gave us a broad hint to leave.
  • adj. Obsolete Outspoken.
  • adj. Vulgar; ribald: a broad joke.
  • adj. Strikingly regional or dialectal: a broad Southern accent.
  • adj. Linguistics Pronounced with the tongue placed low and flat and with the oral cavity wide open, like the a in father.
  • n. A wide flat part, as of one's hand.
  • n. Often Offensive Slang A woman or girl.
  • adv. Fully; completely.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Wide in extent or scope.
  • adj. Having a specified width (e.g. 3 ft broad).
  • adj. Strongly regional.
  • adj. Velarized, i.e. not palatalized.
  • n. A prostitute, a woman of loose morals.
  • n. A woman or girl.
  • n. A shallow lake, one of a number of bodies of water in eastern Norfolk and Suffolk.
  • n. A lathe tool for turning down the insides and bottoms of cylinders.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Wide; extend in breadth, or from side to side; -- opposed to narrow.
  • adj. Extending far and wide; extensive; vast.
  • adj. Extended, in the sense of diffused; open; clear; full.
  • adj. Fig.: Having a large measure of any thing or quality; not limited; not restrained; -- applied to any subject, and retaining the literal idea more or less clearly, the precise meaning depending largely on the substantive.
  • adj. Comprehensive; liberal; enlarged.
  • adj. Plain; evident.
  • adj. Free; unrestrained; unconfined.
  • adj. Characterized by breadth. See Breadth.
  • adj. Cross; coarse; indelicate.
  • adj. Strongly marked.
  • n. The broad part of anything.
  • n. The spread of a river into a sheet of water; a flooded fen.
  • n. A lathe tool for turning down the insides and bottoms of cylinders.
  • n. A woman, especially one who is sexually promiscuous; -- usually considered offensive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Wide; having great breadth, as distinguished from length and thickness; used absolutely, having much width or breadth; not narrow: as, a strip no broader than one's hand; a broad river or street.
  • Large superficially; extensive; vast: as, the broad expanse of ocean.
  • Figuratively, not limited or narrow; liberal; comprehensive; enlarged: as, a man of broad views.
  • Specifically Inclined to the Broad Church, or to the views held by the Broad-Church party of the Church of England. See Episcopal.
  • Large in measure or degree; not small or slight; ample; consummate.
  • Widely diffused; open; full: as, in broad sunshine; broad daylight.
  • Unconfined; free; unrestrained.
  • Unrestrained by a sense of propriety or fitness; unpolished; loutish.
  • Unrestrained by considerations of decency; indelicate; indecent.
  • Unrestrained by fear or caution; bold; unreserved.
  • Characterized by a full, strong utterance; coarsely vigorous; not weak or slender in sound: as, broad Scotch; broad Doric; a broad vowel, such as ä or â or ō.
  • Plain; evident.
  • In the fine arts, characterized by breadth: as, a picture remarkable for the broad treatment of its subject. See breadth, 3.
  • n. A shallow, fenny lake formed by the expansion of a river over adjacent flat land covered more or less with a reedy growth; a flooded fen, or lake in a fen: as, the Norfolk broads.
  • n. In mech., a tool used for turning down the insides and bottoms of cylinders in the lathe.
  • n. An English coin first issued in 1619 by James I., and worth at the time 20s. The coin was also issued subsequently. Also called laurel and broad-piece.
  • Broadly; openly; plainly.
  • Widely; copiously; abundantly.
  • Broadly; fully.
  • To make broad; spread.

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

  • adj. showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
  • adj. very large in expanse or scope
  • n. slang term for a woman
  • adj. having great (or a certain) extent from one side to the other
  • adj. being at a peak or culminating point
  • adj. broad in scope or content
  • adj. lacking subtlety; obvious
  • adj. (of speech) heavily and noticeably regional
  • adj. not detailed or specific


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

Middle English brod, from Old English brād.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English brood, brode, from Old English brād ("broad, flat, open, extended, spacious, wide, ample, copious"), from Proto-Germanic *braidaz (“broad”), of uncertain origin. Possibly from Proto-Indo-European *(s)prei- (“to strew, spread, sprinkle”). Cognate with Scots braid ("broad"), West Frisian breed ("broad"), Saterland Frisian breed ("broad"), Dutch breed ("broad"), German breit ("broad, wide"), Swedish bred ("broad"), Icelandic breiður ("broad, wide").


  • Accepting therefore the results of the two preceding chapters, that history (in the broad sense) is the study which best cultivates moral dispositions; secondly, that natural science furnishes the indispensable insight into the external world, man's physical environment; and, thirdly, that language, mathematics, and drawing are but the formal side and expression of the two realms of real knowledge, we have the _broad outlines_ of any true course of education.

    The Elements of General Method Based on the Principles of Herbart

  • "Hims bin here all night," replied the girl, with a broad grin (and the breadth of Poopy's _broad_ grin was almost appalling).

    Gascoyne, The Sandal-Wood Trader A Tale of the Pacific

  • "Hims bin here all night," replied the girl, with a broad grin -- (and the breadth of Poopy's _broad_ grin was almost appalling!) "What mean you? has he slept in this house all night?"

    Gascoyne, the Sandal-Wood Trader

  • He read aloud the jingling epistle to his own great-great-grandfather, which, like the rest, concludes with a broad hint, that as the author had neither lands nor flocks -- "no estate left except his designation" -- the more fortunate kinsman who enjoyed, like Jason of old, a fair share of _fleeces_, might do worse than bestow on him some of King James's _broad pieces_.

    Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10)

  • In an interview Monday with France 24, he also accused Western media of ignoring what he called the broad support enjoyed by his government.

    Libyan Unrest Heightened by Information Battle

  • But these days, with Pyongyang preparing for a Workers 'Party convention that could trumpet the rise of leader Kim Jong Il's youngest son, Kim Eun Ho and other defectors who speak regularly to North Koreans hear plenty of opinions reflecting what he described as a broad sentiment against hereditary succession.

    N. Koreans may be frustrated with government and likely rise of Kim Jong Eun

  • President Barack Obama says leaders of the G20 nations are headed for what he calls a broad-based agreement aimed at balanced and sustainable growth that will build upon agreements from earlier summits.

    Obama Says G20 Leaders Headed For 'Broad-based' Agreement

  • Pointing to what she called broad military and civilian engagement with Pakistan, Clinton said cooperation has led to "tangible results on the ground."

    Obama: Progress in Afghanistan, But Gains Fragile

  • Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says tonight that the government is moving ahead with a plan to buy stock in what he called a broad array of financial institutions.

    CNN Transcript Oct 10, 2008

  • That's just what they call the broad academic field in which I practice clear throat my particular discipline.

    Blog-Bashing Spelling Fascist Meanies: Turn Back Now


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  • Sounds a bit 'Happy Days' these days, regardless of your duck-rolling abilities.

    April 4, 2011

  • If the dame is secure with herself, usually broad rolls off like water and ducks. Other chicks object to it, so play it by ear, is my advice.

    April 3, 2011

  • Didn't realize that it could be used for "woman" also. Nice slang.

    March 1, 2011

  • "An English coin first issued in 1619 by James I., and worth at the time 20s. The coin was also issued subsequently. Also called laurel and broad-piece."

    - The Century Dictionary

    See jacobus.

    June 28, 2010