- An example of to spread is unfolding and laying out a blanket for a picnic.
- An example of to spread is the phrase spread out, someone laying on their back with their arms fully extended.
- An example of to spread is using a knife to cover a piece of toast with peanut butter.
transitive verb, spread′ing
- to draw out so as to display more fully; open or stretch out so as to cover more space; unfold or unfurl
- to lay out in display; exhibit
- to move apart (the fingers, arms, legs, wings, etc.)
- to distribute over a surface or area; scatter; disperse
- to distribute among a group: to spread the wealth
- to distribute in a thin layer; smear: to spread butter on toast
- to cover by smearing (with something): to spread bread with jelly
- to extend or prolong in time: to spread payments over a two-year period
- to cause to be widely or more widely known, felt, existent, etc.; disseminate; propagate; diffuse: to spread news, a disease, etc.
- to cover, overlay, or deck (with something)
- to set (a table) for a meal
- to set (food) on a table
- to push apart or farther apart
- to record in full; enter (on a record)
- to flatten out (a rivet, etc.) by hammering
Origin of spreadMiddle English spreden from Old English sprædan, akin to German spreiten from Indo-European an unverified form sprei-d-, to sprinkle, strew from base an unverified form (s)p(h)er-, to strew, spray, burst (of buds) from source spray, sprawl, sprout
- to extend itself; be extended or expanded
- to become distributed or dispersed
- to be made widely or more widely known, felt, existent, etc.; be disseminated, propagated, or diffused
- to be pushed apart or farther apart
- to be of such consistency that it can be distributed in a thin layer, as butter; be capable of being smeared
- the act of spreading; extension; expansion; diffusion
- the extent to which something is spread or can be spread
- the interval or difference between the highest and lowest figures of a set, as of the scores of a test
- the difference between related prices, rates, etc., as that between the prices at which a broker buys and sells shares of a stock
- in betting, the number of points by which a team, esp. a football team, is expected to defeat its opponent
- an expanse; extent; stretch; compass
- two facing pages of a newspaper, magazine, etc., treated as a single continuous sheet, as in advertising
- printed matter set across a page, or across several columns, of a newspaper, magazine, etc.
- any soft substance, as jam or margarine, used for spreading on bread or crackers
- a broadening, as of a weight-gainer's hips and waistline: middle-age spread
- Informal a lavish meal, esp. one with a wide variety of food
- a ranch, or any large farm or estate
spread oneself thin
verbspread, spread·ing, spreads
- To open to a fuller extent or width; stretch: spread out the tablecloth; a bird spreading its wings.
- To make wider the gap between; move farther apart: spread her fingers.
- a. To distribute over a surface in a layer: spread varnish on the steps.b. To cover with a layer: spread a cracker with butter.
- a. To distribute widely: The tornado spread destruction.b. To make a wide or extensive arrangement of: We spread the bicycle parts out on the floor.c. To exhibit or display the full extent of: the scene that was spread before us.
- To cause to become widely seen or known; scatter or disseminate: spread the news; spread the beam of the flashlight.
- a. To prepare (a table) for eating; set.b. To arrange (food or a meal) on a table.
- To flatten (a rivet end, for example) by pounding.
- To be extended or enlarged: The farm fields spread to the horizon.
- To move over an area, be distributed, or be widely dispersed: The troops spread out across the field. The volcano's ash spread over the continent.
- To become known or prevalent over a wide area: The word spread fast.
- To be exhibited, displayed, or visible in broad or full extent: The vista spread seemingly to infinity.
- To become or admit of being distributed in a layer: This paint spreads really well.
- To become separated; be forced farther apart: The land masses spread until there was an ocean between them.
- a. The act or process of spreading: the spread of disease.b. Dissemination, as of news; diffusion.
- a. An open area of land; an expanse.b. A ranch, farm, or estate.
- The extent or limit to which something is or can be spread: The tree's canopy has a spread of 50 feet.
- A cloth covering for a bed, table, or other piece of furniture.
- Informal An abundant meal laid out on a table.
- A food to be spread on bread or crackers.
- a. Two facing pages of a magazine, newspaper, or book, considered as a unit.b. An article or advertisement running across two or more columns of a newspaper or magazine.
- a. A difference, as between two figures or totals: What's the spread between tallest and shortest?b. A position taken in two or more options or futures contracts in order to profit from a change in their relative prices.c. The difference between the price asked and bid for a particular security.d. The difference in yields between two fixed-income securities, as between short-term and long-term bonds.
- A number of points offered to equalize the chances of winning in a wager on a competition, usually between sports teams. Also called point spread .
Origin of spreadMiddle English spreden from Old English -sprǣdan ( as in tōsprǣdan to spread out ); see sper- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present spreads, present participle spreading, simple past and past participle spread)
- To stretch out, open out (a material etc.) so that it more fully covers a given area of space. [from 13th c.]
- He spread his newspaper on the table.
- To extend (individual rays, limbs etc.); to stretch out in varying or opposing directions. [from 13th c.]
- I spread my arms wide and welcomed him home.
- To disperse, to scatter or distribute over a given area. [from 13th c.]
- I spread the rice grains evenly over the floor.
- (intransitive) To proliferate; to become more widely present, to be disseminated. [from 13th c.]
- To disseminate; to cause to proliferate, to make (something) widely known or present. [from 14th c.]
- The missionaries quickly spread their new message across the country.
- (intransitive) To take up a larger area or space; to expand, be extended. [from 14th c.]
- I dropped my glass; the water spread quickly over the tiled floor.
- To smear, to distribute in a thin layer. [from 16th c.]
- She liked to spread butter on her toast while it was still hot.
- To cover (something) with a thin layer of some substance, as of butter. [from 16th c.]
- He always spreads his toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam.
- To prepare; to set and furnish with provisions.
- to spread a table
- (intransitive, slang) To open one's legs. [from 20th c.]
- The act of spreading or something that has been spread.
- An expanse of land.
- A large tract of land used to raise livestock; a cattle ranch.
- A piece of material used as a cover (such as a bedspread).
- A large meal, especially one laid out on a table.
- (bread, etc.) Any form of food designed to be spread such as butters or jams
- An item in a newspaper or magazine that occupies more than one column or page.
- A numerical difference.
- (business, economics) The difference between the wholesale and retail prices.
- (trading, economics, finance) The difference between the price of a futures month and the price of another month of the same commodity.
- (trading, finance) The purchase of a futures contract of one delivery month against the sale of another futures delivery month of the same commodity.
- (trading, finance) The purchase of one delivery month of one commodity against the sale of that same delivery month of a different commodity.
- (trading) An arbitrage transaction of the same commodity in two markets, executed to take advantage of a profit from price discrepancies.
- (trading) The difference between bidding and asking price.
- (finance) The difference between the prices of two similar items.
- (geometry) An unlimited expanse of discontinuous points.
From Middle English spreden, from Old English sprÇ£dan (“to spread, expand"), from Proto-Germanic *spraidijanÄ… (“to spread"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)per- (“to strew, sow, sprinkle"). Cognate with West Frisian spriede (“to spread"), North Frisian spriedjen (“to spread"), Dutch spreiden (“to spread"), Low German spreden (“to spread"), German spreiten (“to spread, spread out"), Norwegian spreida, spreie (“to spread, disseminate"), Swedish sprida (“to spread").
spread - Investment & Finance Definition
The difference between a security’s purchase price and its selling price. The term is used in many different contexts. For underwriters of bond or stock offerings, the spread is the difference between what underwriters pay for the security and what they sell it for; the spread provides the basic compensation to the underwriters. In futures trading, the spread is called a bid/ask spread. It is the difference between what a futures contract can be purchased at and what it can be sold at. The ask price, or the price at which something is sold, nearly always will be higher than the bid price. Market makers make their profit on the spread.