- of great breadth: The river was too broad to swim across.
- measured from side to side: The desk was three feet broad.
- of great extent; large: the broad expanse of ocean.
- widely diffused; open; full: We awoke to broad daylight.
- not limited or narrow; of extensive range or scope: A modern doctor must have a broad knowledge of medicine.
- liberal; tolerant: A broad interpretation of the law tempers justice with mercy.
- main or general: the broad outlines of a subject.
- plain or clear: Her remark was a broad hint of her feelings.
- bold; plain-spoken.
- indelicate; indecent: He smirked at the broad joke.
- (of conversation) rough; countrified.
- unconfined; free; unrestrained: It was a hilarious evening of broad mirth.
- (of pronunciation) strongly dialectal: He wore kilts and had a broad Scots accent.
- Phonetics. (of a transcription) using one basic symbol to represent each phoneme.
- broad a, the a-sound [ah] /ɑ/ when used in lieu of the more common a-sound [a] /æ/ in such words as half, can't, and laugh.
- fully: He was broad awake.
- the broad part of anything.
- Usually Offensive.a term used to refer to a woman.
- a promiscuous woman.
- Often broads. Movies, Television. an incandescent or fluorescent lamp used as a general source of light in a studio.
- a gold coin of England and Scotland, issued by James I and Charles I and equal to 20 shillings.Compare carolus, jacobus.
- broad on the beam, Nautical. bearing 90° to the heading of a vessel.
- broad on the bow, Nautical. bearing 45° to the heading of a vessel.
- broad on the quarter, Nautical. bearing 135° to the heading of a vessel.
Origin of broad
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for broadest
It's the broadest hint yet that Prince George may soon have a baby sibling.William's New Baby Hint
April 12, 2014
It brings together the largest and broadest exhibition of contemporary Arab photographic art yet seen in the United States.Fotofest Brings Unprecedented Collection of Arab Photographic Art to U.S.
November 11, 2013
That indeed would soon metamorphose into the strongest and broadest economic expansion since World War II.The Twilight Vindication of George H.W. Bush
Mark K. Updegrove
October 20, 2013
The GDP report profits the broadest barometer of economic performance.The Misuse and Meaning of GDP
April 27, 2013
In the broadest sense of the term, we didn't build anything.What Can We Do About America's Baby Bust?
February 8, 2013
It is national in the broadest sense of the term, and primative and forcible to intensity.Ridgeway
Its longest exponent is Comte, its broadest Mill and its thickest Spencer.The Devil's Dictionary
He prided himself on being able to speak the broadest of the dialect.Heather and Snow
They were, one and all, from the broadest and best to the narrowest and least frequented, very dark.Barnaby Rudge
There, on one of the broadest tombstones she saw sitting a circle of lamias.
- having relatively great breadth or width
- of vast extent; spaciousa broad plain
- (postpositive) from one side to the otherfour miles broad
- of great scope or potentialthat invention had broad applications
- not detailed; generalbroad plans
- clear and open; full (esp in the phrase broad daylight)
- obvious or plainbroad hints
- liberal; toleranta broad political stance
- widely spread; extensivebroad support
- outspoken or bolda broad manner
- vulgar; coarse; indecenta broad joke
- unrestrained; freebroad laughter
- (of a dialect or pronunciation) consisting of a large number of speech sounds characteristic of a particular geographical areaa broad Yorkshire accent
- finance denoting an assessment of liquidity as including notes and coin in circulation with the public, banks' till money and balances, most private-sector bank deposits, and sterling bank-deposit certificatesbroad money Compare narrow (def. 7)
- of or relating to a type of pronunciation transcription in which symbols correspond approximately to phonemes without taking account of allophonic variations
- broad athe long vowel in English words such as father, half, as represented in the received pronunciation of Southern British English
- as broad as it is long amounting to the same thing; without advantage either way
- the broad part of something
- slang, mainly US and Canadian
- a girl or woman
- a prostitute
- British dialect a river spreading over a lowlandSee also Broads
- East Anglian dialect a shallow lake
- a wood-turning tool used for shaping the insides and bottoms of cylinders
- widely or fullybroad awake
Word Origin and History for broadest
Old English brad "broad, flat, open, extended," from Proto-Germanic *braithaz (cf. Old Frisian bred, Old Norse breiðr, Dutch breed, German breit, Gothic brouþs), of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic languages. No clear distinction in sense from wide. Related: Broadly. Broad-brim as a style of hat (1680s, broad-brimmed) in 18c.-19c. suggested "Quaker male" from their characteristic attire.
"woman," slang, 1911, perhaps suggestive of broad (adj.) hips, but it also might trace to American English abroadwife, word for a woman (often a slave) away from her husband. Earliest use of the slang word suggests immorality or coarse, low-class women. Because of this negative association, and the rise of women's athletics, the track and field broad jump was changed to the long jump c.1967.