Definition of spread-eagle in English:

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[with object] (usually be spread-eagled)
1Stretch (someone) out with their arms and legs extended: he lay spread-eagled in the road
More example sentences
  • I was spreadeagled on a ratty old couch in the corner of a large room.
  • She was spreadeagled, breezes carrying musky scents and the reek of sweat across her body and teasing her skin, nipping it with playful fingers that caused her to shiver as she struggled.
  • To stop us scratching we are spreadeagled, tied with bandages at the wrists and ankles to the tubular steel of our bed frames.
1.1 [no object] Skating Perform a spread eagle.


(spread eagle)
1An emblematic representation of an eagle with its legs and wings extended.
1.1 Figure Skating A straight glide made with the feet in a line, with the heels touching, and the arms stretched out to either side.
Example sentences
  • The 2002 Olympic bronze medalists opened with side-by-side triple toeloops, followed by nested spread eagles into a lift, albeit marred by a small bobble and a bit of sluggishness.
  • There are inside and outside spread eagles, where you skate on both inside or both outside edges.
  • I want aerials, spread eagles, toe touches, and anything else you can think of.


1Stretched out with one’s arms and legs extended: prisoners are chained to their beds, spread-eagle, for days at a time
More example sentences
  • She lay on her stomach spread eagle, head titled to the side, face contorted in pain.
  • I was walking one moment and in a quick phase of pain I was on the floor spread eagle not moving wondering what the hell I was doing.
  • Shep instantly flattened himself on the ground spread eagle.
2Loudly or aggressively patriotic about the US: spread-eagle oratory

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: spread-ea·gle

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