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[ik-spans] /ɪkˈspæns/
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.
Origin of expanse
1660-70; < New Latin expānsum, noun use of neuter of Latin expānsus, past participle of expandere to expand
1. sweep, reach, range, stretch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for expanse
  • 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.
  • Seen along the edge of the sun's disk, prominences appear as bright loops against the dark expanse of space.
  • The ocean's expanse was silver, dotted with rocky islets.
  • But trying to predict how the new fence would affect the vast zebra herds that rely on that expanse of parkland was no easy task.
  • The skeleton was a thriving oasis in a vast, desertlike expanse.
  • Remove the metal fence and the expanse of concrete beyond.
  • The colors from the small crosses appear to spread onto the white expanse surrounding each intersection.
  • The vast expanse of land, water, and air surrounding the plant is still laced with lethal levels of radioactive contaminants.
British Dictionary definitions for expanse


an uninterrupted surface of something that spreads or extends, esp over a wide area; stretch: an expanse of water
expansion or extension
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin expansum the heavens, from Latin expansus spread out, from expandere to expand
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 expanse

1660s, from Latin expansum, noun use of neuter of expansus, past participle of expandere (see expand).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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