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expand

[ik-spand]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to increase in extent, size, volume, scope, etc.: Heat expands most metals. He hopes to expand his company.
  2. to spread or stretch out; unfold: A bird expands its wings.
  3. to express in fuller form or greater detail; develop: to expand a short story into a novel.
  4. Mathematics.
    1. to write (a mathematical expression) so as to show the products of its factors.Compare factor(def 10).
    2. to rewrite (a mathematical expression) as a sum, product, etc., of terms of a particular kind: to expand a function in a power series.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to increase or grow in extent, bulk, scope, etc.: Most metals expand with heat. The mind expands with experience.
  2. to spread out; unfold; develop: The buds had not yet expanded.
  3. to express something more fully or in greater detail (usually followed by on or upon): to expand on a statement.
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Origin of expand

1400–50; late Middle English expanden < Latin expandere to spread out, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + pandere to extend, stretch
Related formsex·pand·a·ble, ex·pand·i·ble, adjectiveex·pand·a·bil·i·ty, ex·pand·i·bil·i·ty, nounnon·ex·pand·ing, adjectiveo·ver·ex·pand, verbpre·ex·pand, verb (used with object)re·ex·pand, verbself-ex·pand·ing, adjectivesu·per·ex·pand, verbun·ex·pand·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·pand·ing, adjective
Can be confusedexpand expend (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms

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1. extend, swell, enlarge. See increase. Expand, dilate, distend, inflate imply becoming larger and filling more space. To expand is to spread out, usually in every direction: to expand one's chest. To dilate is especially to increase the width or circumference, and applies to space enclosed within confines or to hollow bodies: to dilate the pupils of the eyes. To distend is to stretch, often beyond the point of natural expansion: to distend an artery. To inflate is to blow out or swell a hollow body with air or gas: to inflate a balloon.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for expand

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I breathed freely, and my form seemed to expand itself with buoyant life.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Not being a knowledge of the whole truth it should be humble, tolerant, and eager to expand.

  • Surely it is much better to let their natural affections have time to expand.

  • Your heart will expand; your manly strength will increase a hundredfold.

  • It is recognized that brick will expand and contract with changes in temperature.


British Dictionary definitions for expand

expand

verb
  1. to make or become greater in extent, volume, size, or scope; increase
  2. to spread out or be spread out; unfold; stretch out
  3. (intr often foll by on) to enlarge or expatiate on (a story, topic, etc) in detail
  4. (intr) to become increasingly relaxed, friendly, or talkative
  5. maths to express (a function or expression) as the sum or product of terms
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Derived Formsexpandable, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Latin expandere to spread out, from pandere to spread, extend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for expand

v

early 15c., "spread out, spread flat," from Anglo-French espaundre, Middle French espandre and directly from Latin expandere "to spread out, unfold, expand," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pandere "to spread, stretch" (see pace (n.)). Sense of "grow larger" first recorded 1640s. Related: Expanded; expanding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper