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First attested in mid 13th century. From Middle English abrood (broadly widely scattered), from a- (on, in) + brood (broad). Equivalent to a- +‎ broad.



abroad (not comparable)

  1. Beyond the bounds of a country; in foreign countries. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470.)][1]
    • 2013 April 9, Andrei Lankov, “Stay Cool. Call North Korea’s Bluff.”, in New York Times[1]:
      A closer look at North Korean history reveals what Pyongyang’s leaders really want their near-farcical belligerence to achieve — a reminder to the world that North Korea exists, and an impression abroad that its leaders are irrational and unpredictable.
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter XIV, in The History of England from the Accession of James II[2], volume 3:
      Another prince, deposed by the Revolution, was living abroad.
  2. (dated) At large; widely; broadly; over a wide space. [First attested from around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
    A tree spreads its branches abroad.
    • 1718, Matthew Prior, Solomon, and other Poems on several Occasions:
      Again: The lonely fox roams far abroad, / On ſecret rapine bend and midnight fraud; []
  3. (dated) Without a certain confine; outside the house; away from one's abode. [First attested from around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
    to walk abroad
    • p. 1650,, John Evelyn, William Bray, editor, Diary[3], Frederic Warne and Company, published 1818, entry for 1650 July 7, page 207:
      I went to St. James', where another was preaching in the court abroad.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, chapter 1, in The House Behind the Cedars:
      Was it so irreconcilable, Warwick wondered, as still to peal out the curfew bell, which at nine o'clock at night had clamorously warned all negroes, slave or free, that it was unlawful for them to be abroad after that hour, under penalty of imprisonment or whipping?
  4. (dated) Before the public at large; throughout society or the world; here and there; moving without restriction. [First attested in the late 15th century.][1]
  5. Not on target; astray; in error; confused; dazed. [First attested in the early 19th century.][1]
  6. (sports) Played elsewhere than one's home grounds.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.



  1. (rare) Countries or lands abroad. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][1]
    • 1929, King George V, widely (and variously) quoted:
      I hate abroad, abroad’s bloody.
    • c. 1991, New Statesman & Society, volume 3–4, page 180:
      I am not, however, a xenophobe: obviously, abroad has some good ideas—arranged marriages, violent revolutions and so on.
    • 2001 March 13, The Earl of Onslow, speaking in the House of Lords, quoted in Hansard:
      That is not a xenophobic remark. I am a xenophiliac; I love abroad. I love foreigners. I just do not like the way that they are running the European agricultural policy.

Derived termsEdit




  1. Throughout, over.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 “abroad” in Lesley Brown, editor, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 8.
  • "Now abroad has entered English as a noun" - The New York Times, "ON LANGUAGE; The Near Abroad", William Safire, May 22, 1994, quoting Christian Caryl