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splay

[spley] /spleɪ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to spread out, expand, or extend.
2.
to form with an oblique angle; make slanting; bevel.
3.
to make with a splay or splays.
4.
to disjoin; dislocate.
verb (used without object)
5.
to have an oblique or slanting direction.
6.
to spread or flare.
noun
7.
Architecture. a surface that makes an oblique angle with another, as where the opening through a wall for a window or door widens from the window or door proper toward the face of the wall.
adjective
8.
spread out; wide and flat; turned outward.
9.
clumsy or awkward.
10.
oblique or awry.
Origin of splay
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; aphetic form of display
Related forms
unsplayed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for splay
Historical Examples
  • Norman windows have only one splay on the internal side of the building.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Like the jambs, the arch has a splay which is divided into small panels.

    Portuguese Architecture Walter Crum Watson
  • Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city?

    Measure for Measure William Shakespeare
  • The window in the east wall has its head and splay of a single stone.

    Romantic Ireland; volume 2/2 M.F and B. McM. Mansfield
  • No variation, no change; the art of it is to keep almost to the same groove, and not to make the figure broad and splay.

    The Hills and the Vale Richard Jefferies
  • A figure in the splay of the E. window has been carefully erased by some "conscientious objector."

    Somerset G.W. Wade and J.H. Wade
  • I shall try to cut in a sloping way to splay the board if I can, so that it will fit better when we put it back—if we get one out.

    Sail Ho! George Manville Fenn
  • Such a collection of splay feet, puffed joints, and misshapen limbs was assuredly never before made within so small a compass.

  • And tell Harrington to shove his own cold, splay fingers into his own pockets for a change.

    The Fighting Chance Robert W. Chambers
  • As against this they have, unless very carefully bred, a lightness of bone and a tendency to splay feet and flat sides.

British Dictionary definitions for splay

splay

/spleɪ/
adjective
1.
spread out; broad and flat
2.
turned outwards in an awkward manner
verb
3.
to spread out; turn out or expand
4.
(transitive) (vet science) to dislocate (a joint)
noun
5.
a surface of a wall that forms an oblique angle to the main flat surfaces, esp at a doorway or window opening
6.
enlargement
Word Origin
C14: short for display
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 splay
v.

"to spread out," early 14c., shortened form of desplayen (see display). Pp. adjective splayed "spread out" is attested from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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