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View synonyms for span

span

1

[ span ]

noun

  1. the distance between the tip of the thumb and the tip of the little finger when the hand is fully extended.
  2. a unit of length corresponding to this distance, commonly taken as 9 inches (23 centimeters).
  3. a distance, amount, piece, etc., of this length or of some small extent:

    a span of lace.

  4. Civil Engineering, Architecture.
    1. the distance between two supports of a structure.
    2. the structure so supported.
    3. the distance or space between two supports of a bridge.
  5. the full extent, stretch, or reach of anything:

    a long span of memory.

  6. Aeronautics. the distance between the wing tips of an airplane.
  7. a limited space of time, as the term or period of living:

    Our span on earth is short.

  8. Mathematics. the smallest subspace of a vector space that contains a given element or set of elements.


verb (used with object)

, spanned, span·ning.
  1. to measure by the hand with the thumb and little finger extended.
  2. to encircle with the hand or hands, as the waist.
  3. to extend over or across (a section of land, a river, etc.).
  4. to provide with something that extends over:

    to span a river with a bridge.

  5. to extend or reach over (space or time):

    a memory that spans 90 years.

  6. Mathematics. to function (in a subspace of a vector space) as a span.
  7. Archery. to bend (the bow) in preparation for shooting.

span

2

[ span ]

noun

  1. a pair of horses or other animals harnessed and driven together.

    Synonyms: team

span

3

[ span ]

verb

, Archaic.
  1. a simple past tense of spin.

Span.

4

abbreviation for

  1. Spaniard.
  2. Spanish.

span

1

/ spæn /

verb

  1. archaic.
    a past tense of spin


Span.

2

abbreviation for

  1. Spanish

span

3

/ spæn /

noun

  1. the interval, space, or distance between two points, such as the ends of a bridge or arch
  2. the complete duration or extent

    the span of his life

  3. psychol the amount of material that can be processed in a single mental act

    span of attention

    apprehension span

  4. short for wingspan
  5. a unit of length based on the width of an expanded hand, usually taken as nine inches

verb

  1. to stretch or extend across, over, or around
  2. to provide with something that extends across or around

    to span a river with a bridge

  3. to measure or cover, esp with the extended hand

span

4

/ spæn /

noun

  1. a team of horses or oxen, esp two matched animals
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Word History and Origins

Origin of span1

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun spanne, sponne, spayn, Old English span(n), spon(n); cognate with German Spanne, Dutch span, Old Norse spǫnn; the verb is derivative of the noun

Origin of span2

An Americanism dating to 1760–70; from Dutch: “team (of oxen, horses)”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of span1

Old English spann; related to Old Norse sponn, Old High German spanna

Origin of span2

C16 (in the sense: yoke): from Middle Dutch: something stretched, from spannen to stretch; see span 1
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Idioms and Phrases

see spick and span .
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Synonym Study

See pair.
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Example Sentences

The active user metrics can further be categorized into four metrics as per audience engagement in different time spans.

Sorkin’s economic prescriptions are derived from a career that’s now spanned a quarter century.

From Ozy

Romaine is slightly heartier, but it still has a limited life span in a Tupperware.

Somehow a galaxy that spans tens of thousands of light years is intimately related to what is, in effect, a microscopic dot at its center.

A star is born over a long span of time from a large, cold, dark cloud of gas and dust.

The human attention span is evolving in such a way that they can skip around.

RELATED: Wing Span: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (PHOTOS) Not everyone agreed with her assessment.

Five times during that span, the majority of species on the planet vanished in a short interval of time.

In battle, it means the ability to shift from suicide bombers to tank columns and maneuver warfare in the span of a day.

Typically, new equipment is developed in the span of two or three years.

Messrs. Spick and Span's representative was wounded in his tenderest point, but his firm carried out the order to the letter.

Part of that idea was sham bric-à-brac, the rest was carte blanche to Messrs. Spick and Span.

Originally it had one great roof of a single span, second only to that of St. Pancras Station.

That was "back in the Sixties," when his lapses were as far apart as they were unrivalled in consumption, span, and pyrotechny.

He seems to think he is mooting to me a spick and span new idea—that he has invented something.

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Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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