[ bredth, bretth, breth ]
/ brɛdθ, brɛtθ, brɛθ /


the measure of the second largest dimension of a plane or solid figure; width.
an extent or piece of something of definite or full width or as measured by its width: a breadth of cloth.
freedom from narrowness or restraint; liberality: a person with great breadth of view.
size in general; extent.
Art. a broad or general effect due to subordination of details or nonessentials.

Origin of breadth

1515–25; earlier bredeth, equivalent to brede breadth (Middle English; Old English brǣdu, equivalent to brǣd-, mutated variant of brād broad +-u noun suffix) + -th1 akin to German Breite, Gothic braidei

Related forms

breadth·less, adjective

Can be confused

breadth breath breathe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breadth

British Dictionary definitions for breadth


/ (brɛdθ, brɛtθ) /


the linear extent or measurement of something from side to side; width
a piece of fabric having a standard or definite width
distance, extent, size, or dimension
openness and lack of restriction, esp of viewpoint or interest; liberality

Word Origin for breadth

C16: from obsolete brēde (from Old English brǣdu, from brād broad) + -th 1; related to Gothic braidei, Old High German breitī
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