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spread

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noun spread pronunciation in British English /spred/ 
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singularspread
pluralspreads
  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 aim of US 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. 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. 5
    [singular] the width of something

    The mature plant is around six feet tall with a spread of four feet.

  5. 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.

pre-cation

a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

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