broad daylight


adjective, broader, broadest.
of great breadth: The river was too broad to swim across.
measured from side to side: The desk was three feet broad.
of great extent; large: the broad expanse of ocean.
widely diffused; open; full: We awoke to broad daylight.
not limited or narrow; of extensive range or scope: A modern doctor must have a broad knowledge of medicine.
liberal; tolerant: A broad interpretation of the law tempers justice with mercy.
main or general: the broad outlines of a subject.
plain or clear: Her remark was a broad hint of her feelings.
bold; plain-spoken.
indelicate; indecent: He smirked at the broad joke.
(of conversation) rough; countrified.
unconfined; free; unrestrained: It was a hilarious evening of broad mirth.
(of pronunciation) strongly dialectal: He wore kilts and had a broad Scots accent.
Phonetics. (of a transcription) using one basic symbol to represent each phoneme.
broad a, the a- sound [ah] when used in lieu of the more common a- sound [a] in such words as half, can't, and laugh.
fully: He was broad awake.
the broad part of anything.
Usually Offensive. a term used to refer to a woman.
a promiscuous woman.
Often, broads. Movies, Television. an incandescent or fluorescent lamp used as a general source of light in a studio.
a gold coin of England and Scotland, issued by James I and Charles I and equal to 20 shillings. Compare carolus, jacobus.
broad on the beam, Nautical. bearing 90° to the heading of a vessel.
broad on the bow, Nautical. bearing 45° to the heading of a vessel.
broad on the quarter, Nautical. bearing 135° to the heading of a vessel.

before 1000; Middle English bro(o)d, Old English brād; cognate with Dutch breed, German breit, Old Norse breithr, Gothic braiths

broadish, adjective
broadly, adverb
overbroad, adjective

1. See wide. 3. extensive, ample, vast. 5. liberal, open. 10. gross.

1. narrow.

When used to refer to a woman, broad is usually perceived as insulting. The meaning “promiscuous woman” is probably the earlier sense. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
broad (brɔːd)
1.  having relatively great breadth or width
2.  of vast extent; spacious: a broad plain
3.  (postpositive) from one side to the other: four miles broad
4.  of great scope or potential: that invention had broad applications
5.  not detailed; general: broad plans
6.  clear and open; full (esp in the phrase broad daylight)
7.  obvious or plain: broad hints
8.  liberal; tolerant: a broad political stance
9.  widely spread; extensive: broad support
10.  outspoken or bold: a broad manner
11.  vulgar; coarse; indecent: a broad joke
12.  unrestrained; free: broad laughter
13.  (of a dialect or pronunciation) consisting of a large number of speech sounds characteristic of a particular geographical area: a broad Yorkshire accent
14.  finance Compare narrow denoting an assessment of liquidity as including notes and coin in circulation with the public, banks' till money and balances, most private-sector bank deposits, and sterling bank-deposit certificates: broad money
15.  phonetics
 a.  of or relating to a type of pronunciation transcription in which symbols correspond approximately to phonemes without taking account of allophonic variations
 b.  broad a the long vowel in English words such as father, half, as represented in the received pronunciation of Southern British English
16.  as broad as it is long amounting to the same thing; without advantage either way
17.  the broad part of something
18.  slang chiefly (US), (Canadian)
 a.  a girl or woman
 b.  a prostitute
19.  dialect (Brit) See also Broads a river spreading over a lowland
20.  dialect (East Anglian) a shallow lake
21.  a wood-turning tool used for shaping the insides and bottoms of cylinders
22.  widely or fully: broad awake
[Old English brād; related to Old Norse breithr, Old Frisian brēd, Old High German breit, Gothic braiths]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. brad "broad, flat, open, extended," from P.Gmc. *braithaz (cf. O.Fris. bred, O.N. breiðr, Du. breed, Ger. breit, Goth. brouþs), of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic languages. No clear distinction in sense from wide. Slang extension to meaning "woman"
(1911) may be suggestive of broad hips, but it also may trace to Amer.Eng. abroadwife, for a woman away from her husband, often a slave. Earliest use suggests immorality or coarse, low-class women. Because of this negative association, and the rise of women's athletics, the track and field broad jump was changed to the long jump c.1967. Related: Broadly.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

broad daylight

Ample and obvious natural light, as in You don't need your flashlightit's broad daylight, or She was accosted on her own street in broad daylight. [1300s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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