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  1. spread over or open, or occupying a wide space.
  2. distributed over a wide region, or occurring in many places or among many persons or individuals: widespread poverty.
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Origin of widespread

First recorded in 1695–1705; wide + spread

Synonyms for widespread

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for widespread

boundless, broad, common, comprehensive, current, diffuse, epidemic, far-flung, far-reaching, general, overall, pervasive, popular, prevailing, prevalent, public, rampant, regnant, rife, ruling

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Historical Examples of widespread

British Dictionary definitions for widespread


  1. extending over a wide area
  2. accepted by or occurring among many people
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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 widespread

1705, from wide + spread.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper