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spread - definition and synonyms


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noun spread pronunciation in American English /spred/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [singular] the growth or development of something, so that it affects a larger area or a larger number of people
    spread of: There were concerns about the spread of fighting to other regions.
    The goal of U.S. foreign policy at that time was to prevent the spread of communism.
    The spread of literacy has greatly improved the region’s economic performance.
    1. a.
      a situation in which disease begins to infect more and more people
      They still do not know how to prevent the spread of the disease.
    2. b.
      a situation in which a fire starts to affect a larger area than before
      Close doors to delay the spread of fire and smoke.
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] soft food that you put on bread and similar foods
    We prefer low-fat spreads to butter.
  3. 3
    [singular] a number of different things
    spread of: You minimize risk by investing in a spread of companies.
  4. 6
    [countable] informal a large meal with a lot of different dishes to choose from
    That was quite a spread they put on last night.
  5. 8
    [singular] the width of something
    The mature plant is around six feet tall with a spread of four feet.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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