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spread verb

1 open sth so that you can see all of it

ADV. carefully | out We spread the rug out on the floor.

PREP. across, on, over

PHRASES spread sth open He had a newspaper spread open on his knee.

2 reach more people/wider area

ADV. fast, like wildfire, quickly, rapidly, soon The news spread like wildfire. | gradually, slowly | easily The disease spreads easily. | widely Allow plenty of space for this plant as its roots spread widely. | far and wide His fame had spread far and wide. | geographically Friends may be spread geographically. Neighbours, by definition, are nearby. | outwards

PREP. across, among, around/round, beyond, from, into, over, through, throughout, to The effects of this policy spread far beyond children now at school. The fire rapidly spread to adjoining buildings.

PHRASES thinly spread Expertise in this field is very thinly spread across the country.

3 cover a surface with a soft substance

ADV. generously, liberally, thickly | lightly, thinly | evenly Don't make the paste too thick, or it will not spread evenly.

PREP. on He spread jam on the toast. | with Spread each slice generously with butter.

4 divide/share sth

ADV. equally, evenly, uniformly | unevenly

VERB + SPREAD try to

PREP. among, between We tried to spread the workload evenly between the departments. | over The course takes forty hours, spread over twenty weeks.