- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. sweep, reach, range, stretch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for expanses
He was “overwhelmed by the feeling” that “the Suffolk expanses” had “shrunk once and for all to a single, blind, insensate spot.”Walking In The Footsteps Of W.G. Sebald, Hiker, Novelist, Strange Genius
June 5, 2014
There were expanses of heavy tree and bush growth that they could not penetrate.Eight Keys to Eden
Mark Irvin Clifton
The laws of color preference differ with the size of expanses.Old-Time Gardens
Alice Morse Earle
That dream of his when he rode on the Wiltshire expanses—a curious dream: the lark silent, the earth dissolving.The Longest Journey
E. M. Forster
He glimpsed it as it moved across the squares of gray, then lost it as it merged in the expanses of shadow between.The Hour of the Dragon
Robert E. Howard
All the way I kept thinking of expanses of clean water and of breezes off the lake.Sudden Jim
Clarence Budington Kelland
- an uninterrupted surface of something that spreads or extends, esp over a wide area; stretchan expanse of water
- expansion or extension
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
Word Origin and History for expanses
1660s, from Latin expansum, noun use of neuter of expansus, past participle of expandere (see expand).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper