an uninterrupted space or area; a wide extent of anything: an expanse of water.
something that is spread out, especially over a relatively large area: that great expanse, the sky.
expansion; extension: the wide expanse of scientific knowledge.

1660–70; < Neo-Latin expānsum, noun use of neuter of Latin expānsus, past participle of expandere to expand

1. sweep, reach, range, stretch.
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World English Dictionary
expanse (ɪkˈspæns)
1.  an uninterrupted surface of something that spreads or extends, esp over a wide area; stretch: an expanse of water
2.  expansion or extension
[C17: from New Latin expansum the heavens, from Latin expansus spread out, from expandere to expand]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1660s, from L. expansum, neut. of expansus, pp. of expandere (see expand).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Water once ran through large segments of this expanse.
Never before had a large, populated expanse of private land been converted into
  a national park.
In the vast expanse of space, nothing matters more than speed.
The ocean's expanse was silver, dotted with rocky islets.
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