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spread (v.)

c. 1200, "to stretch out, to lay out; diffuse, disseminate" (transitive), also "to advance over a wide area" (intransitive); probably from Old English sprædan "to spread, stretch forth, extend" (especially in tosprædan "to spread out," and gesprædung "spreading"), from Proto-Germanic *spreit- (source also of Danish sprede, Old Swedish spreda, Middle Dutch spreiden, Old High German and German spreiten "to spread"), extended form of PIE root *sper- (4) "to strew" (see sprout (v.)).

Reflexive sense of "to be outspread" is from c. 1300; that of "to extend, expand" is attested from mid-14c. Transitive sense of "make (something) wide" is from late 14c. As an adjective from 1510s. Related: Spreading.

spread (n.)

1620s, "act of spreading;" 1690s, "extent or expanse of something," from spread (v.). Meaning "copious meal" dates from 1822; sense of "food for spreading" (butter, jam, etc.) is from 1812. Sense of "bed cover" is recorded from 1848, originally American English. Meaning "degree of variation" is attested from 1929. Meaning "ranch for raising cattle" is attested from 1927.

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Definitions of spread from WordNet
1
spread (v.)
distribute or disperse widely;
The invaders spread their language all over the country
Synonyms: distribute
spread (v.)
become distributed or widespread;
the infection spread
Optimism spread among the population
Synonyms: propagate
spread (v.)
spread across or over;
A big oil spot spread across the water
Synonyms: overspread
spread (v.)
spread out or open from a closed or folded state;
spread your arms
Synonyms: unfold / spread out / open
spread (v.)
cause to become widely known;
spread information
Synonyms: circulate / circularize / circularise / distribute / disseminate / propagate / broadcast / diffuse / disperse / pass around
spread (v.)
become widely known and passed on;
the rumor spread
Synonyms: go around / circulate
spread (v.)
strew or distribute over an area;
He spread fertilizer over the lawn
Synonyms: scatter / spread out
spread (v.)
move outward;
Synonyms: diffuse / spread out / fan out
spread (v.)
cover by spreading something over;
spread the bread with cheese
spread (v.)
distribute over a surface in a layer;
spread cheese on a piece of bread
2
spread (n.)
process or result of distributing or extending over a wide expanse of space;
Synonyms: spreading
spread (n.)
a conspicuous disparity or difference as between two figures;
the spread between lending and borrowing costs
Synonyms: gap
spread (n.)
farm consisting of a large tract of land along with facilities needed to raise livestock (especially cattle);
Synonyms: ranch / cattle ranch / cattle farm
spread (n.)
a haphazard distribution in all directions;
Synonyms: scatter
spread (n.)
a tasty mixture to be spread on bread or crackers or used in preparing other dishes;
Synonyms: paste
spread (n.)
a meal that is well prepared and greatly enjoyed;
they put out quite a spread
Synonyms: banquet / feast
spread (n.)
two facing pages of a book or other publication;
Synonyms: spread head / spreadhead / facing pages
spread (n.)
the expansion of a person's girth (especially at middle age);
she exercised to avoid that middle-aged spread
spread (n.)
decorative cover for a bed;
Synonyms: bedspread / bedcover / bed cover / bed covering / counterpane
spread (n.)
act of extending over a wider scope or expanse of space or time;
Synonyms: spreading
3
spread (adj.)
distributed or spread over a considerable extent;
eleven million Jews are spread throughout Europe
Synonyms: dispersed
spread (adj.)
prepared or arranged for a meal; especially having food set out;
a table spread with food
spread (adj.)
fully extended in width;
with arms spread wide
Synonyms: outspread
From wordnet.princeton.edu