span

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

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

span (plural spans)

  1. The full width of an open hand from the end of the thumb to the end of the little finger used as an informal unit of length.
  2. Any of various traditional units of length approximating this distance, especially the English handspan of 9 inches formingfathom and equivalent to 22.86 cm.
  3. (by extension) A small space or a brief portion of time.
    He has a short attention span and gets bored within minutes.
  4. 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, []
  5. (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.
    • 1961 January, “Talking of Trains: The Severn Bridge disaster”, in Trains Illustrated, page 5:
      The force of the explosion demolished one pair of piers and two spans of the bridge crashed down into the river on top of the barges.
  6. (architecture, construction) The length of a cable, wire, rope, chain between two consecutive supports.
  7. (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.
  8. (US, Canada) A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action.
  9. (mathematics) The space of all linear combinations of something.
  10. (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.
  11. wingspan of a plane or bird
Derived terms[edit]
Compound words with this term at the end
Compound words and expressions with this term at the beginning
Expressions with this term at the end
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

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.
  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.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

span

  1. (archaic, now nonstandard) simple past tense of spin

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From older gespan.

Noun[edit]

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 terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Afrikaans: span

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb[edit]

span

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

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

span

  1. Alternative form of spanne

Sranan Tongo[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Dutch gespannen.

Noun[edit]

span

  1. tense

Swedish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Deverbal from spana.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

span n

  1. (colloquial) an act of spying (something)
    Jag hade fått span på en dam som kan få en att bli monogam
    I had spied a lady that can make one monogamous
  2. (colloquial) stakeout

References[edit]


West Frisian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Low German or Dutch spannen (to yoke, stretch).

Noun[edit]

span n (plural spannen, diminutive spantsje)

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

Further reading[edit]

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