- an uninterrupted space or area; a wide extent of anything: an expanse of water.
- something that is spread out, especially over a relatively large area: that great expanse, the sky.
- expansion; extension: the wide expanse of scientific knowledge.
Origin of expanse
1660–70; < New Latin expānsum, noun use of neuter of Latin expānsus, past participle of expandere to expand
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsstretch, plain, wilderness, tract, breadth, domain, sweep, sphere, radius, belt, span, area, range, width, spread, latitude, scope, territory, field, reach
Examples from the Web for expanse
Kim Novak runs away from James Stewart, across an expanse of field.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Somewhere in that expanse of California sky, I know Edith Jefferson will be doing the jitterbug.David Jefferson on His Four Gay Marriages and a Legal Victory Against Prop 8
February 7, 2012
To the cast and north of our hill was an expanse of rolling, desolate wilderness.The Long Labrador Trail
But take, for the moment, the mere obvious matter of expanse of territory.The American Mind
An expanse of smooth turf lay between the window and the sidewalk.A Yankee Flier Over Berlin
The ceiling was an expanse of ornament, with an electric chandelier for centre.A Great Man
Beyond the volcano Jim could see what looked like an expanse of ocean.
- an uninterrupted surface of something that spreads or extends, esp over a wide area; stretchan expanse of water
- expansion or extension
C17: from New Latin expansum the heavens, from Latin expansus spread out, from expandere to expand
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 expanse
1660s, from Latin expansum, noun use of neuter of expansus, past participle of expandere (see expand).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper