spread

When something is spread, it's stretched or extended as far as it can go. It's a beautiful sight to see a bald eagle spread its wings and fly.

When you spread a picnic blanket on the ground, you open it and stretch it across the grass. You can also see the ocean spread out in front of you, or spread butter on toast, for example. Any way you use it, spread implies an extension across some distance, a stretching of some sort. The expression spread too thin means you are having trouble finding the time and energy to do everything in your life.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: spread

1
vnadj
distribute or disperse widely
process or result of distributing or extending over a wide expanse of space
distributed or spread over a considerable extent
2
vnadj
spread out or open from a closed or folded state
two facing pages of a book or other publication
fully extended in width
3
n
farm consisting of a large tract of land along with facilities needed to raise livestock (especially cattle)
4
nadj
a meal that is well prepared and greatly enjoyed
prepared or arranged for a meal; especially having food set out
5
n
decorative cover for a bed
6
n
a conspicuous disparity or difference as between two figures
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: spread
1

v distribute or disperse widely

“The invaders spread their language all over the country”
Synonyms:
distribute
Antonyms:
collect, garner, gather, pull together
assemble or get together
Types:
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generalise, generalize
become systemic and spread throughout the body
metastasise, metastasize
spread throughout the body
discharge
pour forth or release
straw, strew
spread by scattering ("straw" is archaic)
export
cause to spread in another part of the world
propagate
transmit or cause to broaden or spread
deploy
to distribute systematically or strategically
redistribute
distribute anew
sprawl, straggle
go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way
diffuse, fan out, spread out
move outward
eject, force out, squeeze out, squirt
cause to come out in a squirt
disperse, dot, dust, scatter, sprinkle
distribute loosely
play
discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
volley
discharge in, or as if in, a volley
bestrew
cover by strewing
litter
make a place messy by strewing garbage around
redeploy
deploy anew
percolate
spread gradually
creep
grow or spread, often in such a way as to cover (a surface)
bleed, run
be diffused
mantle
spread over a surface, like a mantle

v strew or distribute over an area

“He spread fertilizer over the lawn”
Synonyms:
scatter, spread out
Types:
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manure, muck
spread manure, as for fertilization
birdlime, lime
spread birdlime on branches to catch birds
circumfuse
spread something around something
distribute
spread throughout a given area
Type of:
circulate, distribute, pass around, pass on
cause be distributed

v cause to become widely known

spread information”
Synonyms:
broadcast, circularise, circularize, circulate, diffuse, disperse, disseminate, distribute, pass around, propagate
circulate, go around
become widely known and passed on
Types:
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podcast
distribute (multimedia files) over the internet for playback on a mobile device or a personal computer
sow
introduce into an environment
generalise, generalize, popularise, popularize, vulgarise, vulgarize
cater to popular taste to make popular and present to the general public; bring into general or common use
carry, run
include as the content; broadcast or publicize
Type of:
air, bare, publicise, publicize
make public

v become distributed or widespread

“the infection spread
“Optimism spread among the population”
Synonyms:
propagate
Types:
catch
spread or be communicated
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v spread across or over

“A big oil spot spread across the water”
Synonyms:
overspread
Types:
transgress
spread over land, especially along a subsiding shoreline
Type of:
continue, cover, extend
span an interval of distance, space or time

v become widely known and passed on

“the rumor spread
Synonyms:
circulate, go around
broadcast, circularise, circularize, circulate, diffuse, disperse, disseminate, distribute, pass around, propagate
cause to become widely known
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v move outward

Synonyms:
diffuse, fan out, spread out
Types:
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percolate
spread gradually
creep
grow or spread, often in such a way as to cover (a surface)
bleed, run
be diffused
mantle
spread over a surface, like a mantle
crock
release color when rubbed, of badly dyed fabric
Type of:
distribute
distribute or disperse widely

v cover by spreading something over

spread the bread with cheese”
Types:
slather
spread thickly
Type of:
cover
provide with a covering or cause to be covered

v distribute over a surface in a layer

spread cheese on a piece of bread”

n process or result of distributing or extending over a wide expanse of space

Synonyms:
spreading
Types:
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diffusion
the spread of social institutions (and myths and skills) from one society to another
dispersion, scattering
spreading widely or driving off
invasion
(pathology) the spread of pathogenic microorganisms or malignant cells to new sites in the body
irradiation
(physiology) the spread of sensory neural impulses in the cortex
radiation
the spread of a group of organisms into new habitats
Diaspora
the dispersion of the Jews outside Israel; from the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 587-86 BC when they were exiled to Babylonia up to the present time
dissipation
breaking up and scattering by dispersion
adaptive radiation
the development of many different forms from an originally homogeneous group of organisms as they fill different ecological niches
Type of:
change of location, travel
a movement through space that changes the location of something

n act of extending over a wider scope or expanse of space or time

Synonyms:
spreading
Types:
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circulation
the spread or transmission of something (as news or money) to a wider group or area
diffusion, dispersal, dispersion, dissemination
the act of dispersing or diffusing something
scatter, scattering, strewing
the act of scattering
decentralisation, decentralization
the spread of power away from the center to local branches or governments
recirculation
circulation again
crop-dusting, spraying
the dispersion of fungicides or insecticides or fertilizer on growing crops (often from a low-flying aircraft)
Type of:
extension
act of expanding in scope; making more widely available

n a tasty mixture to be spread on bread or crackers or used in preparing other dishes

Synonyms:
paste
Types:
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margarin, margarine, marge, oleo, oleomargarine
a spread made chiefly from vegetable oils and used as a substitute for butter
nut butter
ground nuts blended with a little butter
peanut butter
a spread made from ground peanuts
marshmallow fluff
a very sweet white spread resembling marshmallow candy
onion butter
butter blended with minced onion
pimento butter
butter blended with mashed pimento
shrimp butter
butter blended with chopped shrimp or seasoned with essence from shrimp shells
lobster butter
butter blended with chopped lobster or seasoned with essence from lobster shells
cheese spread
spread made of cheese mixed with butter or cream or cream cheese and seasonings
anchovy butter
butter blended with mashed anchovies
fishpaste
a paste of fish or shellfish
garlic butter
butter seasoned with mashed garlic
miso
a thick paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt; used in Japanese cooking to make soups or sauces
hommos, hoummos, hummus, humous, humus
a thick spread made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic; used especially as a dip for pita; originated in the Middle East
pate
liver or meat or fowl finely minced or ground and variously seasoned
tapenade
a spread consisting of capers and black olives and anchovies made into a puree with olive oil
tahini
a thick Middle Eastern paste made from ground sesame seeds
stick
a rectangular quarter pound block of butter or margarine
duck pate
a pate made from duck liver
foie gras, pate de foie gras
a pate made from goose liver (marinated in Cognac) and truffles
Type of:
condiment
a preparation (a sauce or relish or spice) to enhance flavor or enjoyment

n the expansion of a person's girth (especially at middle age)

“she exercised to avoid that middle-aged spread
Type of:
girth
the distance around a person's body

n a haphazard distribution in all directions

Synonyms:
scatter
Types:
diffuseness
the spatial property of being spread out over a wide area or through a large volume
Type of:
dispersion, distribution
the spatial or geographic property of being scattered about over a range, area, or volume

adj distributed or spread over a considerable extent

“eleven million Jews are spread throughout Europe”
Synonyms:
dispersed
distributed
spread out or scattered about or divided up
2

v spread out or open from a closed or folded state

spread your arms”
Synonyms:
open, spread out, unfold
Antonyms:
fold, fold up, turn up
bend or lay so that one part covers the other
Types:
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divaricate
spread apart
exfoliate
spread by opening the leaves of
grass
spread out clothes on the grass to let it dry and bleach
butterfly
cut and spread open, as in preparation for cooking
uncross
change from a crossed to an uncrossed position
splay
spread open or apart
Type of:
undo
cancel, annul, or reverse an action or its effect

n two facing pages of a book or other publication

Synonyms:
facing pages, spread head, spreadhead
Types:
center spread, centre spread
the spread at the center of a magazine
centerfold, centrefold
a magazine center spread; especially a foldout of a large photograph or map or other feature
Type of:
page
one side of one leaf (of a book or magazine or newspaper or letter etc.) or the written or pictorial matter it contains

adj fully extended in width

“with arms spread wide”
Synonyms:
outspread
extended
fully extended or stretched forth
3

n farm consisting of a large tract of land along with facilities needed to raise livestock (especially cattle)

Synonyms:
cattle farm, cattle ranch, ranch
Type of:
farm
workplace consisting of farm buildings and cultivated land as a unit
4

n a meal that is well prepared and greatly enjoyed

“they put out quite a spread
Synonyms:
banquet, feast
Type of:
meal, repast
the food served and eaten at one time

adj prepared or arranged for a meal; especially having food set out

“a table spread with food”
Synonyms
prepared
made ready or fit or suitable beforehand
5

n decorative cover for a bed

Synonyms:
bed cover, bed covering, bedcover, bedspread, counterpane
Types:
coverlet
a decorative bedspread (usually quilted)
quilted bedspread
a bedspread constructed like a thin quilt
Type of:
bed clothing, bedclothes, bedding
coverings that are used on a bed
6

n a conspicuous disparity or difference as between two figures

“the spread between lending and borrowing costs”
Synonyms:
gap
Type of:
disparity
inequality or difference in some respect
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