- Span is the amount of area or the amount of time that something encompasses.
- An example of span is how long you live.
- An example of span is a house on three acres.
span definition by Webster's New World
- a unit of linear measure equal to nine inches, based on the distance between the tips of the extended thumb and little finger
- the full amount or extent between any two limits
- the distance between ends or supports: the span of an arch
- the full duration (of): span of attention, the span of a person's life
- a part between two supports: a bridge of four spans
Origin: borrowed in U.S. < Du span, in same sensea team of two animals used together
Origin: Middle English spanne ; from Old English sponn, akin to German spanne ; from Indo-European an unverified form (s)pen(d)-, to pull, draw (from source spin, Classical Greek span, to pull) ; from base an unverified form spe-, to pull, extend
- to measure, esp. by the hand with the thumb and little finger extended
- to encircle with the hand or hands, in or as in measuring
- to extend, stretch, reach, or pass over or across: the bridge that spans the river
- to furnish with something that extends or stretches over: to span an aisle with an arch
Origin: ME spannen < OE spannan, join: see span
span definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- The extent or measure of space between two points or extremities, as of a bridge or roof; the breadth.
- The distance between the tips of the wings of an airplane.
- The section between two intermediate supports of a bridge.
- Something, such as a railroad trestle or bridge, that extends from one point to another.
- The distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger when the hand is fully extended, formerly used as a unit of measure equal to about nine inches (23 centimeters).
- A period of time: a span of life.
- To measure by or as if by the fully extended hand.
- To encircle with the hand or hands in or as if in measuring.
- To extend across in space or time: a bridge that spans the gorge; a career that spanned 40 years.
Origin: Middle English, unit of measurement, from Old English spann; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
transitive verb spanned spanned, span·ning, spans
- Nautical A stretch of rope made fast at either end.
- A pair of animals, such as oxen, matched in size, strength, or color and driven as a team.
Origin: Dutch spannen, to harness, from Middle Dutch; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
span - Computer Definition