verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of sprawl
Examples from the Web for sprawl
Obama and the Democrats have embraced the argument that suburbs and sprawl are bad for you.
Auto factories tend to sprawl horizontally over huge lots, and have flat roofs.
The goal, of course, is to facilitate ever more densification of urban areas and to rein in the dreaded suburban “sprawl.”Are Millennials Turning Their Backs on the American Dream?|Joel Kotkin|November 10, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The word has also come to mean people who are too indolent and lazy to stand up or sit up, but sprawl out anywhere.Jukes-Edwards|A. E. Winship
The violence of his debut caused him to sprawl forward on his hands and knees and his hat fell off.The Boy Patrol Around the Council Fire|Edward Sylvester Ellis
"I masquerade as Sir Hubert Pine," retorted the millionaire, slipping off the stone to sprawl full-length on the grass.Red Money|Fergus Hume
And now I come to think of it, he certainly did not allow Carlotta to sprawl about his own private and particular drawing-room.The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne|William J. Locke
Hence Christian was left to sprawl in the Slough of Despond.Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress|Samuel Phillips Day
- the urban area formed by the expansion of a town or city into surrounding countrysidethe urban sprawl
- the process by which this has happened
Word Origin for sprawl
Old English spreawlian "move convulsively," with cognates in the Scandinavian languages and North Frisian spraweli, probably ultimately from PIE root *sper- "to strew" (see sprout (v.)). Meaning "to spread or stretch in a careless manner" is attested from 1540s; of things, from 1745. Related: Sprawled; sprawling.
1719, from sprawl (v.); meaning "straggling expansion of built-up districts into surrounding countryside" is from 1955.