Nearby words

  1. spray skirt,
  2. spray tank,
  3. spray-paint,
  4. sprayer,
  5. spraying,
  6. spread betting,
  7. spread eagle,
  8. spread like wildfire,
  9. spread oneself too thin,
  10. spread option


    spread oneself thin, to carry on so many projects simultaneously that none is done adequately, or that one's health suffers: Many college students spread themselves thin by taking on too many activities during the semester.

Origin of spread

1150–1200; Middle English spreden (v.), Old English sprǣdan; cognate with Middle Dutch spreden, German spreiten

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

British Dictionary definitions for spread oneself thin


/ (sprɛd) /

verb spreads, spreading or spread



Derived Formsspreadability, nounspreadable, adjective

Word Origin for spread

Old English sprǣdan; related to Old High German spreiten to spread, Old Lithuanian sprainas stiff

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 spread oneself thin
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper