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broad

[brawd]
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adjective, broad·er, broad·est.
  1. of great breadth: The river was too broad to swim across.
  2. measured from side to side: The desk was three feet broad.
  3. of great extent; large: the broad expanse of ocean.
  4. widely diffused; open; full: We awoke to broad daylight.
  5. not limited or narrow; of extensive range or scope: A modern doctor must have a broad knowledge of medicine.
  6. liberal; tolerant: A broad interpretation of the law tempers justice with mercy.
  7. main or general: the broad outlines of a subject.
  8. plain or clear: Her remark was a broad hint of her feelings.
  9. bold; plain-spoken.
  10. indelicate; indecent: He smirked at the broad joke.
  11. (of conversation) rough; countrified.
  12. unconfined; free; unrestrained: It was a hilarious evening of broad mirth.
  13. (of pronunciation) strongly dialectal: He wore kilts and had a broad Scots accent.
  14. Phonetics. (of a transcription) using one basic symbol to represent each phoneme.
  15. broad a, the a-sound [ah] /ɑ/ when used in lieu of the more common a-sound [a] /æ/ in such words as half, can't, and laugh.
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adverb
  1. fully: He was broad awake.
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noun
  1. the broad part of anything.
  2. Slang.
    1. Usually Offensive.a term used to refer to a woman.
    2. a promiscuous woman.
  3. Often broads. Movies, Television. an incandescent or fluorescent lamp used as a general source of light in a studio.
  4. a gold coin of England and Scotland, issued by James I and Charles I and equal to 20 shillings.Compare carolus, jacobus.
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Idioms
  1. broad on the beam, Nautical. bearing 90° to the heading of a vessel.
  2. broad on the bow, Nautical. bearing 45° to the heading of a vessel.
  3. broad on the quarter, Nautical. bearing 135° to the heading of a vessel.
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Origin of broad

before 1000; Middle English bro(o)d, Old English brād; cognate with Dutch breed, German breit, Old Norse breithr, Gothic braiths
Related formsbroad·ish, adjectivebroad·ly, adverbo·ver·broad, adjective

Synonyms for broad

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1. See wide. 3. extensive, ample, vast. 5. liberal, open. 10. gross.

Antonyms for broad

1. narrow.

Usage note

When used to refer to a woman, broad is usually perceived as insulting. The meaning “promiscuous woman” is probably the earlier sense.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for broader

expansive, full, generous, deep, large, immense, extensive, vast, wide, comprehensive, universal, far-reaching, sweeping, wide-ranging, clear, explicit, straightforward, radical, thick, squat

Examples from the Web for broader

Contemporary Examples of broader

Historical Examples of broader

  • Now, if my advice is of any use to you, take a broader view of history than you have done.

  • The sergeant seemed to have grown bigger and broader than ever.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • The higher up he mounted, the broader and more beautiful became the view.

    Moni the Goat-Boy

    Johanna Spyri

  • We swung into the broader road and followed the contrabands.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • With a broader education, will come keener demand for intelligence.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker


British Dictionary definitions for broader

broad

adjective
  1. having relatively great breadth or width
  2. of vast extent; spaciousa broad plain
  3. (postpositive) from one side to the otherfour miles broad
  4. of great scope or potentialthat invention had broad applications
  5. not detailed; generalbroad plans
  6. clear and open; full (esp in the phrase broad daylight)
  7. obvious or plainbroad hints
  8. liberal; toleranta broad political stance
  9. widely spread; extensivebroad support
  10. outspoken or bolda broad manner
  11. vulgar; coarse; indecenta broad joke
  12. unrestrained; freebroad laughter
  13. (of a dialect or pronunciation) consisting of a large number of speech sounds characteristic of a particular geographical areaa broad Yorkshire accent
  14. finance denoting an assessment of liquidity as including notes and coin in circulation with the public, banks' till money and balances, most private-sector bank deposits, and sterling bank-deposit certificatesbroad money Compare narrow (def. 7)
  15. phonetics
    1. of or relating to a type of pronunciation transcription in which symbols correspond approximately to phonemes without taking account of allophonic variations
    2. broad athe long vowel in English words such as father, half, as represented in the received pronunciation of Southern British English
  16. as broad as it is long amounting to the same thing; without advantage either way
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noun
  1. the broad part of something
  2. slang, mainly US and Canadian
    1. a girl or woman
    2. a prostitute
  3. British dialect a river spreading over a lowlandSee also Broads
  4. East Anglian dialect a shallow lake
  5. a wood-turning tool used for shaping the insides and bottoms of cylinders
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adverb
  1. widely or fullybroad awake
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Derived Formsbroadly, adverbbroadness, noun

Word Origin for broad

Old English brād; related to Old Norse breithr, Old Frisian brēd, Old High German breit, Gothic braiths
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 broader

broad

adj.

Old English brad "broad, flat, open, extended," from Proto-Germanic *braithaz (cf. Old Frisian bred, Old Norse breiðr, Dutch breed, German breit, Gothic brouþs), of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic languages. No clear distinction in sense from wide. Related: Broadly. Broad-brim as a style of hat (1680s, broad-brimmed) in 18c.-19c. suggested "Quaker male" from their characteristic attire.

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broad

n.

"woman," slang, 1911, perhaps suggestive of broad (adj.) hips, but it also might trace to American English abroadwife, word for a woman (often a slave) away from her husband. Earliest use of the slang word suggests immorality or coarse, low-class women. Because of this negative association, and the rise of women's athletics, the track and field broad jump was changed to the long jump c.1967.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with broader

broad

In addition to the idioms beginning with broad

  • broad daylight
  • broad in the beam
  • broad shoulders, have

also see:

  • can't hit the broad side of a barn
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.