spread out



Analytic form of earlier outspread.


  • (file)


spread out (third-person singular simple present spreads out, present participle spreading out, simple past and past participle spread out)

  1. (idiomatic, intransitive) Become further apart.
    The police spread out to search a wider area.
  2. (idiomatic, transitive) To place items further apart.
    Spread the cards out and then turn two of them over at random.

Usage notesEdit

In the transitive sense 2, the object may appear before or after the particle. If the object is a pronoun, then it must be before the particle.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


spread out (comparative more spread out, superlative most spread out)

  1. Far apart, not close to each other - far apart, extended over an expanse of space or time.
    Synonyms: spaced out, thin; see also Thesaurus:diffuse
    • 2000, Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, →ISBN:
      In other words, space is very empty, and particles are very spread out.
    • 2007, Carolyn C. Wise & Stephanie Hauser, The Business School Buzz Book, →ISBN, page 90:
      It is extremely time-consuming to use public transportation and the restaurants and dining are very spread out.
    • 2014, William W. Johnstone, Warriors from the Ashes, →ISBN:
      The plague is spread person to person, so if the people are very spread out, fewer of them will come in contact with those afflected by the plague.
  2. Covering a wide area of space or long period of time.
    Synonym: widespread
    • 2006, Michael Clancy & Anna Clancy, A User's Guide to Saskatchewan Parks, →ISBN, page 69:
      The park is very spread out, with two core areas approximately 1.5 km apart, and the trailer dump station almost 2 km away near the park entrance.
    • 2007, Yukio Noguchi & James M. Poterba, Housing Markets in the United States and Japan, →ISBN, page 133:
      As a result, U.S. cities have become very spread out and cover a great deal of land.
    • 2009, Frederick J. Gravetter & Larry B. Wallnau, Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, →ISBN, page 285:
      The t distribution tends to be flatter and more spread out, whereas the normal z distribution has more of a central peak.
    • 2011, Cat Schmidt, Peripheral Vision, →ISBN, page 1:
      If you live in or around Houston you cannot survive without wheels. The city is very spread out and continues to sprawl outward and consume more and more real estate.