[ in-span ]

verb (used with object),in·spanned, in·span·ning.South Africa.
  1. to yoke or harness.

Origin of inspan

From Afrikaans, dating back to 1825–35; see origin at in-1, span2

Words Nearby inspan Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use inspan in a sentence

  • And he ordered a trooper to gallop back to the camp with instructions to saddle up and inspan immediately.

    Forging the Blades | Bertram Mitford
  • At any rate the sooner we took the road again the better, and so I announced to Falkner that we would inspan at sunrise.

    A Frontier Mystery | Bertram Mitford
  • But of this valiant offer John Dawes, who was giving orders to inspan, took no immediate notice.

    The Luck of Gerard Ridgeley | Bertram Mitford
  • Then she ordered them to inspan the waggon, and this was done quickly, for the oxen lay tied to the trek-tow.

    Swallow | H. Rider Haggard
  • He immediately ordered his men to inspan and saddle their horses.

    Through Shot and Flame | J. D. Kestell.

British Dictionary definitions for inspan


/ (ɪnˈspæn) /

verb-spans, -spanning or -spanned (tr) mainly Southern African
  1. to harness (animals) to (a vehicle); yoke

  2. to press (people) into service

Origin of inspan

C19: from Afrikaans, from Middle Dutch inspannen, from spannen to stretch, yoke; see span 1

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