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[ik-spans] /ɪkˈspæns/
an uninterrupted space or area; a wide extent of anything:
an expanse of water.
something that is spread out, especially over a relatively large area:
that great expanse, the sky.
expansion; extension:
the wide expanse of scientific knowledge.
Origin of expanse
1660-70; < New Latin expānsum, noun use of neuter of Latin expānsus, past participle of expandere to expand
1. sweep, reach, range, stretch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for expanse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To the cast and north of our hill was an expanse of rolling, desolate wilderness.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • But take, for the moment, the mere obvious matter of expanse of territory.

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • An expanse of smooth turf lay between the window and the sidewalk.

  • The ceiling was an expanse of ornament, with an electric chandelier for centre.

    A Great Man Arnold Bennett
  • Beyond the volcano Jim could see what looked like an expanse of ocean.

  • To the one, the expanse of ocean could scarcely be considered "trackless."

  • And as he swung it, Shann held it out over the expanse of the table.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • The grass was like an expanse of gold, and below her the valley swam in golden mist.

    Heidi Johanna Spyri
British Dictionary definitions for expanse


an uninterrupted surface of something that spreads or extends, esp over a wide area; stretch: an expanse of water
expansion or extension
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin expansum the heavens, from Latin expansus spread out, from expandere to expand
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
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Word Origin and History for expanse

1660s, from Latin expansum, noun use of neuter of expansus, past participle of expandere (see expand).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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