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[bredth, bretth, breth] /brɛdθ, brɛtθ, brɛθ/
the measure of the second largest dimension of a plane or solid figure; width.
an extent or piece of something of definite or full width or as measured by its width:
a breadth of cloth.
freedom from narrowness or restraint; liberality:
a person with great breadth of view.
size in general; extent.
Art. a broad or general effect due to subordination of details or nonessentials.
Origin of breadth
1515-25; earlier bredeth, equivalent to brede breadth (Middle English; Old English brǣdu, equivalent to brǣd-, mutated variant of brād broad + -u noun suffix) + -th1; akin to German Breite, Gothic braidei
Related forms
breadthless, adjective
Can be confused
breadth, breath, breathe.
3. latitude, impartiality, open-mindedness. 4. scope, range, reach, compass, span. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for breadth
  • Next week, we'll introduce our new video player, which is designed to better surface the full breadth .
  • He pointed to ad companies' own marketing materials as evidence of the depth and breadth of the information collected.
  • You've got the breadth of the stage before you and you're looking down and across at everything and everyone all at once.
  • Scholars will marvel at the breadth of the sources that have fattened this work.
  • The candidate has an impressive breadth of experience.
  • Another trait of good literature exemplified by the Bible is breadth.
  • The authors' breadth of knowledge is impressive.
  • The breadth and depth of recipes here is stunning.
  • This island is about ninety miles long, with a breadth of rather less than thirty.
  • The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering.
British Dictionary definitions for breadth


/brɛdθ; brɛtθ/
the linear extent or measurement of something from side to side; width
a piece of fabric having a standard or definite width
distance, extent, size, or dimension
openness and lack of restriction, esp of viewpoint or interest; liberality
Word Origin
C16: from obsolete brēde (from Old English brǣdu, from brādbroad) + -th1; related to Gothic braidei, Old High German breitī
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
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Word Origin and History for breadth

1520s, alteration of brede "breadth," from Old English brædu "breadth, width, extent," from bræd; probably by analogy of long/length.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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