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

Synonyms for expanse

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expanses

Contemporary Examples of expanses

Historical Examples of expanses

  • There were expanses of heavy tree and bush growth that they could not penetrate.

    Eight Keys to Eden

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • The laws of color preference differ with the size of expanses.

    Old-Time Gardens

    Alice Morse Earle

  • That dream of his when he rode on the Wiltshire expanses—a curious dream: the lark silent, the earth dissolving.

    The Longest Journey

    E. M. Forster

  • He glimpsed it as it moved across the squares of gray, then lost it as it merged in the expanses of shadow between.

    The Hour of the Dragon

    Robert E. Howard

  • All the way I kept thinking of expanses of clean water and of breezes off the lake.

    Sudden Jim

    Clarence Budington Kelland

British Dictionary definitions for expanses



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

Word Origin for expanse

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 expanses



1660s, from Latin expansum, noun use of neuter of expansus, past participle of expandere (see expand).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper