sprawl

When you sprawl, you spread out in an ungainly way, like when you're lying down comfortably on the sofa with your legs and arms flung out around you.

As a noun, the most common use of this word nowadays is in the phrase "urban sprawl" (or "suburban sprawl"), which describes municipal development — things like new neighborhoods, shopping malls, and office complexes — that spreads out of control, according to no approved plan, and usually with pretty ugly results.

Definitions of sprawl
1

v sit or lie with one's limbs spread out

Types:
spread-eagle
stand with arms and legs spread out
Type of:
sit, sit down
be seated
lie
be lying, be prostrate; be in a horizontal position

v go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way

Synonyms:
straggle
Type of:
distribute, spread
distribute or disperse widely

n an ungainly posture with arms and legs spread about

Synonyms:
sprawling
Type of:
attitude, position, posture
the arrangement of the body and its limbs

n an aggregation or continuous network of urban communities

Synonyms:
conurbation, urban sprawl
Examples:
Luda
an industrial conurbation in northeastern China on the southern end of the Liaodong Peninsula; it now includes the cities of Dalian and Lushun
Types:
subtopia
monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings
Type of:
populated area, urban area
a geographical area constituting a city or town

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