- having or suggesting the form of a spread eagle.
- lying prone with arms and legs outstretched.
- boastful or bombastic, especially in the display of patriotic or nationalistic pride in the U.S.
- to stretch out (something) in the manner of a spread eagle.
- to assume the position or perform the acrobatic figure of a spread eagle: The skater spread-eagled across the rink.
Origin of spread-eagle
- a representation of an eagle with outspread wings: used as an emblem of the U.S.
- an acrobatic figure in skating performed by making a glide with the skates touching heel-to-heel in a straight line and with the arms outstretched.
- an acrobatic stunt in ski jumping executed with the legs and arms widely outstretched to the sides.
Origin of spread eagle
Related Words for spread-eaglelie, drape, flop, ramble, extend, sit, stretch, slouch, recline, slump, straddle, lounge, trail, spread, straggle, loll
Examples from the Web for spread-eagle
Historical Examples of spread-eagle
The ball-room was in the third story of the Spread-Eagle Hotel.The Blunders of a Bashful Man
Metta Victoria Fuller Victor
Two or three of them, in fact, to spread-eagle whatever it is.Skylark Three
Edward Elmer Smith
"Shuffle and spread-eagle them again, for luck," Carney suggested.Bulldog Carney
W. A. Fraser
You can't leave your country without taking the spread-eagle with you!An American Girl Abroad
The paper bore our Florentine water-mark, and was written with a Spread-Eagle. 'Miss Cayley's Adventures
- lying or standing with arms and legs outstretched
- to assume or cause to assume the shape of a spread eagle
- (intr) skating to execute a spread eagle
- the representation of an eagle with outstretched wings, used as an emblem of the US
- an acrobatic skating figure
Word Origin and History for spread-eagle
literally "splayed eagle," 1560s, a heraldic term; the figure is that of the seal of the United States (hence spreadeagleism "extravagant laudation of the U.S.," 1858). Meaning "person secured with arms and legs stretched out" (originally to be flogged) is attested from 1785.