expand

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Recorded in Middle English since 1422, from Anglo-Norman espaundre, from Latin expandere present active infinitive of expandō (to spread out), itself from ex- (out, outwards) + pandō (to spread).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

expand (third-person singular simple present expands, present participle expanding, simple past and past participle expanded)

  1. (transitive) To change (something) from a smaller form and/or size to a larger one.
    You can expand this compact umbrella to cover a large table.
  2. (transitive) To increase the extent, number, volume or scope of (something).
    A flower expands its leaves.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      Then with expanded wings he steers his flight.
  3. (transitive) To express (something) at length and/or in detail.
  4. (transitive, algebra) To rewrite (an expression) as a longer, yet equivalent sum of terms.
    Use the binomial theorem to expand  (x+1)4  to  x4 + 4x3 + 6x2 + 4x + 1.
  5. (intransitive) To (be) change(d) from a smaller form/size to a larger one.
    Many materials expand when heated.
    This compact umbrella expands to cover a large table.
  6. (intransitive) To (be) increase(d) in extent, number, volume or scope.
  7. (intransitive) To speak or write at length or in detail.
    He's so pedantic, he expands on everything!
    • 1899, Stephen Crane, chapter 1, Twelve O'Clock:
      There was some laughter, and Roddle was left free to expand his ideas on the periodic visits of cowboys to the town. “Mason Rickets, he had ten big punkins a-sittin' in front of his store, an' them fellers from the Upside-down-F ranch shot 'em up […].”
  8. (intransitive) To feel generous or optimistic.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (to change from a smaller form/size to a larger one): open out, spread, spread out, unfold
  • (to increase the extent, number, volume or scope of): enlarge
  • (to express at length or in detail): elaborate (on), expand on

Antonyms[edit]

  • (to change from a smaller form/size to a larger one): contract
  • (to increase the extent, number, volume or scope of): contract
  • (algebra: to rewrite as an equivalent sum of terms): factor

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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