See also: Span, SPAN, spàn, spân, spãn, špan, and Spāņ

EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English spanne, from Old English spann, from Proto-Germanic *spannō (span, handbreadth). Cognate with Dutch span, spanne, German Spanne. The sense “pair of horses” is probably from Old English ġespan, ġespann (a joining; a fastening together; clasp; yoke), from Proto-West Germanic [Term?]. Cognate with Dutch gespan, German Gespann.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

 
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Wikipedia

span (plural spans)

  1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; an eighth of a fathom.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      "Why in ten thousand years scarce will the rain and storms lessen a mountain top by a span in thickness?"
  2. (by extension) A small space or a brief portion of time.
    He has a short attention span and gets bored within minutes.
    • 1738, Alexander Pope, The Universal Prayer:
      Yet not to earth's contracted span / Thy goodness let me bound.
    • 1699, George Farquhar, The Constant Couple
      Life's but a span; I'll every inch enjoy.
    • 2007. Zerzan, John. Silence.
      The unsilent present is a time of evaporating attention spans,
  3. A portion of something by length; a subsequence.
    • 2004, Robert Harris, Robert Warner, The Definitive Guide to SWT and JFace (page 759)
      For example, in OpenOffice.org or Microsoft Word, each span of text can have a style that defines key characteristics about the text: • What font it uses • Whether it's normal, bolded, italicized, []
  4. (architecture, construction) The spread or extent of an arch or between its abutments, or of a beam, girder, truss, roof, bridge, or the like, between supports.
  5. (architecture, construction) The length of a cable, wire, rope, chain between two consecutive supports.
  6. (nautical) A rope having its ends made fast so that a purchase can be hooked to the bight; also, a rope made fast in the center so that both ends can be used.
  7. (US, Canada) A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action.
  8. (mathematics) The space of all linear combinations of something.
  9. (computing) The time required to execute a parallel algorithm on an infinite number of processors, i.e. the shortest distance across a directed acyclic graph representing the computation steps.
    • 2017, Ananya Kumar; Guy E. Blelloch; Robert Harper, “Parallel Functional Arrays”, in ACM SIGPLAN Notices, DOI:10.1145/3009837.3009869:
      We use the term span (also called depth, or dependence depth) to refer to the number of parallel steps assuming an unbounded number of processors.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English spannen, from Old English spannan, from Proto-Germanic *spannaną (to stretch, span). Cognate with German spannen, Dutch spannen.

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

span (third-person singular simple present spans, present participle spanning, simple past and past participle spanned)

  1. (transitive) To extend through the distance between or across.
    The suspension bridge spanned the canyon.
    • 1856-1858, William H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Philip II
      The rivers were spanned by arches of solid masonry.
  2. (transitive) To extend through (a time period).
    The parking lot spans three acres.
    The novel spans three centuries.
  3. (transitive) To measure by the span of the hand with the fingers extended, or with the fingers encompassing the object.
    to span a space or distance; to span a cylinder
  4. (mathematics) To generate an entire space by means of linear combinations.
  5. (intransitive, US, dated) To be matched, as horses.
  6. (transitive) To fetter, as a horse; to hobble.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English span, from Old English spann, from Proto-Germanic *spann, first and third person singular preterit indicative of Proto-Germanic *spinnaną (to spin).

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

span

  1. (archaic, now nonstandard) simple past tense of spin
    • 1891, H[enry] Rider Haggard, “How Hall of Lithdale Took Tidings to Iceland”, in Eric Brighteyes, 2nd edition, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., OCLC 935241280, page 204:
      So they went in to where Gudruda sat spinning in the hall, singing as she span.
    • 2014 September 29, Reuters, “Five spectators in critical condition following stunt truck accident”, in Irish Independent[2], archived from the original on 11 March 2016:
      Five spectators remained in critical condition on Monday, a day after they were injured when a giant pick-up truck span out of control during a stunt show in a Dutch town, killing three people, local officials said.

AnagramsEdit


DutchEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From older gespan.

NounEdit

span n (plural spannen, diminutive spannetje n)

  1. A span, a team (pair or larger team of draught animals). [from 17th c.]
  2. A cart or instrument with a team of draught animals. [from 18th c.]
  3. A romantic pair, couple. [from 19th c.]
Derived termsEdit
DescendantsEdit
  • Afrikaans: span

Etymology 2Edit

See the etymology of the main entry.

VerbEdit

span

  1. first-person singular present indicative of spannen
  2. imperative of spannen

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

NounEdit

span

  1. Alternative form of spanne

Sranan TongoEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Dutch gespannen.

NounEdit

span

  1. tense

West FrisianEdit

EtymologyEdit

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

NounEdit

span n (plural spannen, diminutive spantsje)

  1. span, team (pair of draught animals in a team)
  2. pair, couple

Further readingEdit

  • span (I)”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011