spread eagle

noun
1.
a representation of an eagle with outspread wings: used as an emblem of the U.S.
2.
an acrobatic figure in skating performed by making a glide with the skates touching heel-to-heel in a straight line and with the arms outstretched.
3.
an acrobatic stunt in ski jumping executed with the legs and arms widely outstretched to the sides.

Origin:
1560–70

Dictionary.com Unabridged

spread-eagle

[spred-ee-guhl]
adjective
1.
having or suggesting the form of a spread eagle.
2.
lying prone with arms and legs outstretched.
3.
boastful or bombastic, especially in the display of patriotic or nationalistic pride in the U.S.
verb (used with object), spread-eagled, spread-eagling.
4.
to stretch out (something) in the manner of a spread eagle.
verb (used without object), spread-eagled, spread-eagling.
5.
to assume the position or perform the acrobatic figure of a spread eagle: The skater spread-eagled across the rink.

Origin:
1820–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
spread eagle
 
n
1.  the representation of an eagle with outstretched wings, used as an emblem of the US
2.  an acrobatic skating figure

spread-eagle
 
adj
1.  lying or standing with arms and legs outstretched
 
vb
2.  to assume or cause to assume the shape of a spread eagle
3.  (intr) skating to execute a spread eagle

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

spread-eagle
lit. "splayed eagle," 1570, a heraldic term; the figure is that of the seal of the United States (hence spreadeagleism "extravagant laudation of the U.S.," 1858). Meaning "person secured with arms and legs stretched out" (originally to be flogged) is attested from 1785.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Such spread-eagle boasting was normally the realm of the politician.
In a widely publicized case at the hospital, a patient died while bound spread-eagle with heavy leather straps.
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