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[ik-span-siv] /ɪkˈspæn sɪv/
having a wide range or extent; comprehensive; extensive:
expansive mountain scenery.
(of a person's character or speech) effusive, unrestrained, free, or open:
Our expansive host welcomed us warmly.
tending to expand or capable of expanding.
causing expansion:
the expansive force of heat.
working by expansion, as an engine.
Psychiatry. marked by an abnormal euphoric state and by delusions of grandeur.
Origin of expansive
First recorded in 1645-55; expans(ion) + -ive
Related forms
expansively, adverb
expansiveness, noun
nonexpansive, adjective
nonexpansively, adverb
nonexpansiveness, noun
overexpansive, adjective
overexpansively, adverb
overexpansiveness, noun
unexpansive, adjective
unexpansively, adverb
unexpansiveness, noun
Can be confused
expansive, expensive (see synonym study at expensive)
2. sociable, extroverted, outgoing, genial, unreserved; gushy, gushing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for expansiveness
Historical Examples
  • One revels in expansiveness with his own, and I can speak to you as I cannot speak to another.'

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • This old Madeira here will explain any amount of expansiveness.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
  • "It shall be only a little," began Friedrich, repenting of his expansiveness.

    A Tar-Heel Baron Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
  • It possessed the qualities of boundless adaptability and expansiveness.

    The Choctaw Freedmen Robert Elliott Flickinger
  • Confronted with the results of his expansiveness, Soames scrutinized his visitor.

  • In him the curiosity of the new age reached its acme of expansiveness.

    Renaissance in Italy, Volume 2 (of 7) John Addington Symonds
  • He lost his expansiveness in the presence of the German army or any representative of it.

    The Guns of Europe

    Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Milly was magnificently optimistic about the expansiveness of her allowance.

    One Woman's Life Robert Herrick
  • His earlier exhilaration had died, and with it was dying the expansiveness of his confidence.

    The Killer Stewart Edward White
  • He was a man of no nationality, and cosmopolitan, and sublimely proud of that expansiveness.

    The Recipe for Diamonds Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne
British Dictionary definitions for expansiveness


able or tending to expand or characterized by expansion
wide; extensive
friendly, open, or talkative: an expansive person
grand or extravagant: an expansive way of life
(psychiatry) lacking restraint in the expression of feelings, esp in having delusions of grandeur or being inclined to overvalue oneself or one's work
Derived Forms
expansively, adverb
expansiveness, noun
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 expansiveness



1650s, "tending to expand," from Latin expans-, past participle stem of expandere (see expand) + -ive. Related: Expansively; expansiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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