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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for splaying
Historical Examples
  • He was clean-shaven, blue-eyed, and had a fine shock of brown hair through which he was constantly pushing his splaying fingers.

    The Hills of Refuge Will N. Harben
  • Another way to make an end joint is by bevelled scarfing or splaying (Fig. 562).

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • John asked, a look of shame crossing his face as he stood mechanically brushing his coat-sleeve with his big, splaying hand.

    The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben
  • Into the splaying breaches there rushed fresh troops from front and rear, and the lines thickened and swayed again.

  • His steel trowel rang like a bell as he tossed the red brick like a ball in his strong, splaying hand.

    The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben
  • He occasionally flicked on his torch, splaying it over the column, checking the positions of the men ahead of him.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
British Dictionary definitions for splaying

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 splaying

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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14
17
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