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  1. an uninterrupted space or area; a wide extent of anything: an expanse of water.
  2. something that is spread out, especially over a relatively large area: that great expanse, the sky.
  3. expansion; extension: the wide expanse of scientific knowledge.
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Origin of expanse

1660–70; < New Latin expānsum, noun use of neuter of Latin expānsus, past participle of expandere to expand


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

stretch, plain, wilderness, tract, breadth, domain, sweep, sphere, radius, belt, span, area, range, width, spread, latitude, scope, territory, field, reach

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British Dictionary definitions for expanse


  1. an uninterrupted surface of something that spreads or extends, esp over a wide area; stretchan expanse of water
  2. expansion or extension
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Word Origin

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper