The verb expand means to make something bigger or wider. It might refer to something concrete, as when you blow into a balloon and make it expand, or something more abstract, as when you study to expand your mind.

Expand is a combination of the Latin words ex-, meaning "out," and pandere, "to spread." The idea of spreading out was always there, though the current idea of something actually becoming larger was first recorded in the mid-17th century. Expand is a versatile word that can refer to anything getting bigger, from a nation's growing influence in a neighboring country to a waistline that needs a larger belt.

Definitions of expand
  1. verb
    extend in one or more directions
    “The dough expands
    synonyms: spread out
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    contract, shrink
    become smaller or draw together
    spread abroad or out
    bush out
    grow outward
    type of:
    become larger, greater, or bigger; expand or gain
  2. verb
    become larger in size or volume or quantity
    “his business expanded rapidly”
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    balloon, billow, inflate
    become inflated
    intumesce, swell, swell up, tumefy, tumesce
    expand abnormally
    become inflated again
    swell from or as if from internal pressure
    belly, belly out
    swell out or bulge out
    blow up, puff, puff out, puff up
    to swell or cause to enlarge, "Her faced puffed up from the drugs"
    become bloated or swollen or puff up
    blister, vesicate
    get blistered
    type of:
    become larger, greater, or bigger; expand or gain
  3. verb
    make bigger or wider in size, volume, or quantity
    expand the house by adding another wing”
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    expand in the form of a series
    blow up, inflate
    fill with gas or air
    inflate again
    billow, heave, surge
    rise and move, as in waves or billows
    type of:
    make larger
  4. verb
    exaggerate or make bigger
    synonyms: amplify, blow up, inflate
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    puff up
    make larger or distend
    type of:
    make bigger or more
  5. verb
    grow vigorously
    synonyms: boom, flourish, thrive
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    be brought back to life, consciousness, or strength
    thrive profusely or flourish extensively
    type of:
    become larger, greater, or bigger; expand or gain
  6. verb
    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
    synonyms: dilate, elaborate, enlarge, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
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    abbreviate, abridge, contract, cut, foreshorten, reduce, shorten
    reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
    cut, edit, edit out
    cut and assemble the components of
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    provide details for
    exposit, expound, set forth
    exemplify, illustrate, instance
    clarify by giving an example of
    particularise, particularize, specialise, specialize, specify
    be specific about
    depict, describe, draw
    give a description of
    set forth beforehand, often as an explanation
    spell out
    make explicit; specify in detail
    type of:
    clarify, clear up, elucidate
    make clear and (more) comprehensible
  7. verb
    expand the influence of
    synonyms: extend
    broaden, extend, widen
    extend in scope or range or area
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
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