- to spread the limbs in a relaxed, awkward, or unnatural position
- to sit or lie in such a position: to sprawl in a chair
- to crawl in an awkward, ungainly way
- to spread out in an awkward or uneven way, esp. so as to take up more space than is necessary, as handwriting, a line of men, etc.
Origin of sprawlMiddle English spraulen from Old English spreawlian, to move convulsively: see sprout
- a sprawling movement or position
- the unchecked, uncoordinated spread of real-estate development into areas on the outskirts of a city, regarded as undesirable
- the buildings and infrastructure resulting from this