From Middle English spreden, from Old English sprǣdan (“to spread, expand”), from Proto-Germanic *spraidijanan (“to spread”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)per- (“to strew, sow, sprinkle”). Cognate with West Frisian spriede (“to spread”), North Frisian spriedjen (“to spread”), Dutch spreiden (“to spread”), Low German spreden (“to spread”), German spreiten (“to spread, spread out”), Norwegian spreida, spreie (“to spread, disseminate”), Swedish sprida (“to spread”).
spread (third-person singular simple present spreads, present participle spreading, simple past and past participle spread)
- (transitive) To stretch out, open out (a material etc.) so that it more fully covers a given area of space. [from 13th c.]
- He spread his newspaper on the table.
- (transitive) To extend (individual rays, limbs etc.); to stretch out in varying or opposing directions. [from 13th c.]
- I spread my arms wide and welcomed him home.
- (transitive) To disperse, to scatter or distribute over a given area. [from 13th c.]
- I spread the rice grains evenly over the floor.
- (intransitive) To proliferate; to become more widely present, to be disseminated. [from 13th c.]
- 2008, Wikipedia:Age of Enlightenment:
- The movement spread through much of Europe, including Russia and Scandinavia.
- 2013 May 10, Audrey Garric, “Urban canopies let nature bloom”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 22, page 30:
- As towns continue to grow, replanting vegetation has become a form of urban utopia and green roofs are spreading fast. Last year 1m square metres of plant-covered roofing was built in France, as much as in the US, and 10 times more than in Germany, the pioneer in this field.
- (transitive) To disseminate; to cause to proliferate, to make (something) widely known or present. [from 14th c.]
- The missionaries quickly spread their new message across the country.
- (intransitive) To take up a larger area or space; to expand, be extended. [from 14th c.]
- I dropped my glass; the water spread quickly over the tiled floor.
- (transitive) To smear, to distribute in a thin layer. [from 16th c.]
- She liked to spread butter on her toast while it was still hot."
- (transitive) To cover (something) with a thin layer of some substance, as of butter. [from 16th c.]
- He always spreads his toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam.
- (intransitive, slang) To open one’s legs. [from 20th c.]
- 1984, Martin Amis, Money:
- This often sounds like the rap of a demented DJ: the way she moves has got to be good news, can't get loose till I feel the juice— suck and spread, bitch, yeah bounce for me baby.
- 1991, Tori Amos, "Me and a Gun":
- Yes I wore a slinky red thing. Does that mean I should spread for you, your friends, your father, Mr Ed?
- 2003, Outkast, "Spread" (from the album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below):
- I don't want to move too fast, but
- Can't resist your sexy ass
- Just spread, spread for me
- (I can't, I can't wait to get you home)
Derived terms 
to extend, stretch out (limbs etc)
to disperse, scatter
- Arabic: نشر (ar) (náshara)
- Mandarin: 分散 (cmn) (fēnsàn), 散布 (cmn) (sànbù), 散開 (cmn), 散开 (cmn) (sànkāi)
- Danish: sprede (da), strø (da)
- Dutch: verbreiden (nl), verspreiden (nl), uitstrooien (nl)
- Finnish: levittää (fi), sirottaa (fi), hajottaa (fi)
- French: disperser (fr), répandre (fr), diffuser (fr), éparpiller (fr)
- German: ausstreuen
- Italian: spargere (it), diffondere (it), sparpagliare (it)
to smear, distribute in a thin layer
(transitive) to disseminate, make known or present
(intransitive) to take up a larger area, expand
- 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 Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
spread (plural spreads)
- The act of spreading or something that has been spread.
- An expanse of land.
- A large tract of land used to raise livestock; a cattle ranch
- 2005, Brokeback Mountain, 00:11:50:
- -- Can’t wait till I get my own spread and won’t have to put up with Joe Aguirre’s crap no more. -- I’m savin’ for a place myself.
- A piece of material used as a cover (such as a bedspread).
- A large meal, especially one laid out on a table.
- (bread, etc.) Any form of food designed to be spread such as butters or jams
- An item in a newspaper or magazine that occupies more than one column or page.
- A numerical difference.
- (business, economics) The difference between the wholesale and retail prices.
- (trading, economics, finance) The difference between the price of a futures month and the price of another month of the same commodity.
- (trading, finance) The purchase of a futures contract of one delivery month against the sale of another futures delivery month of the same commodity.
- (trading, finance) The purchase of one delivery month of one commodity against the sale of that same delivery month of a different commodity.
- (trading) An arbitrage transaction of the same commodity in two markets, executed to take advantage of a profit from price discrepancies.
- (trading) The difference between bidding and asking price.
- (finance) The difference between the prices of two similar items.
something that has been spread
piece of material used as a cover (such as a bedspread)
large meal, especially one laid out on a table
food designed to be spread
item in a newspaper or magazine that occupies more than one column or page
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