from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The entire span or stretch, especially the span of an arch.
  • To stretch beyond the span or reach of.
  • To spread out or extend, as an arch.
  • To unyoke or unhitch (oxen from a wagon); unharness or unsaddle (a horse or horses).
  • To detach oxen from a wagon; hence, to encamp.
  • noun The act of unyoking or unharnessing oxen or horses.
  • noun The time and place of the outspan; hence, an encampment; a camp.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb S. Africa To unyoke or disengage, as oxen from a wagon; to unharness (a horse).
  • noun The act of outspanning.
  • noun South African, South African, South African A place where outspanning is done

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb South Africa To release oxen from harness.
  • noun South Africa The place where one outspans.
  • noun An area on a farm kept available for travellers to rest and refresh their animals

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

  • verb remove the yoke or harness from


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

out +‎ span. Compare Afrikaans uitspan.


  • At our outspan at noon yesterday he came to me and offered me my liberty if I would help him.

    Prester John

  • From an early start the following morning they put another twenty miles behind them before outspan that night and twenty more the next day.

    When the Lion Feeds

  • Since they had left Pretoria the small voices of the jackals had yapped discreetly around each outspan, they were so much a part of the African night that they went unnoticed, but now suddenly there was a difference.

    When the Lion Feeds

  • Sean left MbeJane to outspan the wagons on the open square in front of the church and he went to search for a doctor.

    When the Lion Feeds

  • This is my outspan place, the Boer explained to him.

    When the Lion Feeds

  • Visit Hugo's; dinner Van As; outspan (rest); cigar grand.

    Woman's Endurance

  • I at once went back and informed De Wet, who ordered the column to halt and outspan.

    With Steyn and De Wet

  • There was nothing for it but to outspan and carry the heavy loads up the steep bank.

    With Steyn and De Wet

  • At 9.30 that morning the column moved on again, reached outspan at twenty miles by 1.35 in the afternoon, rested for an hour and a half and pushed on again till a quarter before midnight, when it rode into Wilhelmsfeste.

    With Botha in the Field

  • The trek was done at a fierce pace till midnight, when an outspan was ordered; the party slept for four hours, and made Otjimbingwe just as the dawn of the 1st of May was breaking.

    With Botha in the Field


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