Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Spread or turned out.
  • adjective Clumsy or clumsily formed; awkward.
  • noun An oblique angle or bevel given to the sides of an opening in a wall so that the opening is wider on one side of the wall than on the other.
  • intransitive verb To spread (the limbs, for example) out or apart, especially clumsily.
  • intransitive verb To make slanting or sloping; bevel.
  • intransitive verb To dislocate (a bone). Used of an animal.
  • intransitive verb To be spread out or apart.
  • intransitive verb To slant or slope.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Spread or spreading out; wide and flat; turned outward; hence, clumsy; awkward. See splay-foot, splay-mouth.
  • noun Spread; flare.
  • noun In architecture, a sloped surface, or a surface which makes an oblique angle with another, as when the opening through a wall for a door or window widens from the position of the door or window proper toward the face of the wall. A large chamfer is called a splay.
  • noun In fortification, the outward widening of an embrasure from the mouth toward the exterior of the parapet. See embrasure.
  • Same as spay.
  • In cooperage, to form (a barrel) by drawing it together at the ends.
  • To display; unfold; spread out; hence, to cut up; carve: as, to splay a fish.
  • To dislocate, as a horse's shoulder.
  • In architecture, to slope; form with an oblique angle, as the jambs or sides of a window. See the noun.

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

  • transitive verb obsolete To display; to spread.
  • transitive verb To dislocate, as a shoulder bone.
  • transitive verb Obs. or Prov. Eng. To spay; to castrate.
  • transitive verb To turn on one side; to render oblique; to slope or slant, as the side of a door, window, etc.
  • adjective Displayed; spread out; turned outward; hence, flat; ungainly.
  • adjective (Arch.) A slope or bevel, especially of the sides of a door or window, by which the opening is made larged at one face of the wall than at the other, or larger at each of the faces than it is between them.

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

  • verb To display; to spread.
  • verb To dislocate, as a shoulder bone.
  • verb To spay; to castrate.
  • verb To turn on one side; to render oblique; to slope or slant, as the side of a door, window, etc.
  • adjective Displayed; spread out; turned outward; hence, flat; ungainly; as, splay shoulders.
  • noun A slope or bevel, especially of the sides of a door or window, by which the opening is made larger at one face of the wall than at the other, or larger at each of the faces than it is between them.

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

  • verb spread open or apart
  • noun an outward bevel around a door or window that makes it seem larger
  • verb turn outward
  • adjective turned outward in an ungainly manner
  • verb move out of position

Etymologies

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

[From Middle English splayen, to spread out, short for displayen; see display.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, an abbreviated form of display.

Examples

Comments

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  • I arose, the man hemming up for a speech, rising and beginning to set his splay feet...

    October 9, 2007

  • Also a type of tree, which I remember fondly.

    October 9, 2007