From Middle English overspreden, from Old English ofersprǣdan, corresponding to over- + spread. Cognate with Dutch overspreiden (“to overspread”), German überspreiten (“to overspread”).
overspread (third-person singular simple present overspreads, present participle overspreading, simple past and past participle overspread)
- (transitive) To spread over or across (something); cover over; be scattered over; permeate, overrun.
- those nations of the North which overspread the world
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
- Lady Bellaston fixed her eyes on Sophia whilst she spoke these words. To which that poor young lady, having her face overspread with blushes and confusion, answered, in a stammering voice […]
- 1913, DH Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Penguin 2006, p. 289:
- Deliberately, and with a peculiar quivering smile, that seemed to overspread her whole body, she put her mouth on his.
- (intransitive) To be spread or scattered about.