To splay is to spread out or widen. Peacocks splay their feathers when they want to show off. Basketball players splay their fingers around a basketball to get a better grip.

The word splay is often seen as splayed. If you collapse on your bed with your arms and legs stretched out, you are splayed out on the bed. Fingers, toes, arms, and legs can all splay. Something that has a splayed shape is called a splay, like an architectural detail around a window or door. Splay comes from the verb display, originally "unfurl, unfold, or spread out."

Definitions of splay

v spread open or apart

“He splayed his huge hands over the table”
Type of:
open, spread, spread out, unfold
spread out or open from a closed or folded state

v turn outward

“These birds can splay out their toes”
rotate, spread out, turn out
Type of:
change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense

v move out of position

dislocate, luxate, slip
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

n an outward bevel around a door or window that makes it seem larger

Type of:
bevel, cant, chamfer
two surfaces meeting at an angle different from 90 degrees

adj turned outward in an ungainly manner

splay knees”
splayfoot, splayfooted
having feet that turn outward

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