Definition of space in English:

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Pronunciation: /speɪs/


[mass noun]
1A continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied: a table took up much of the space [count noun]: we shall all be living together in a small space he reversed out of the parking space
More example sentences
  • So he was driving around looking for a free car parking space.
  • I think that at least part of the building - and its immediate area - should become a free public space.
  • Allocating wardrobes to another area frees up more space in the bedroom itself, so there is room for larger beds.
room, expanse, extent, capacity, area, volume, spaciousness, scope, latitude, expansion, margin, leeway, play, clearance;
headroom, legroom, elbow room
gap, interval, opening, aperture, gulf, cavity, cranny, fissure, rift, crack, breach, break, split, flaw, crevasse, interstice, lacuna
1.1 [count noun] An area of land which is not occupied by buildings: she had a love of open spaces
More example sentences
  • Work is under way on a new play area at the nearby Paxmans Road estate and an open space is due to follow this autumn, which parents hope will ease the problem.
  • But she said it would go back to being a grass area and would remain an open space for young people under the age of 12.
  • Many of those who are against the proposals say this area should be turned into an open space.
area, open space, open area, unoccupied area, empty area, expanse, footprint, stretch, sweep, tract
1.2 (also commercial space) An area rented or sold as business premises.
Example sentences
  • Days later a current tenant with an adjacent lease asked to rent the same space to expand her business!
  • And he used the proceeds to rent office space from his father to house a music studio.
  • Because she owns the building, the overhead costs for renting commercial space is eliminated because her mortgage payments add to the equity in her property.
1.3 [count noun] A blank between printed, typed, or written words, characters, numbers, etc.
Example sentences
  • Note that the Greek New Testament was originally written without punctuation or spaces between words.
  • Personally, I work on a computer first, then print out what I have written, leaving generous spaces for inevitable alterations.
  • Counting only letters, and ignoring characters like spaces and commas and hyphens, you can see the proof in the definition.
blank, empty space, gap
1.4 [count noun] Music Each of the four gaps between the five lines of a stave.
Example sentences
  • If we go up three spaces into the treble clef or down three into the bass, we will find C again.
  • A gifted music teacher, he even devised his own system of music writing with four spaces between five lines to show the strings and the numbers from zero to four to guide the fingers.
  • While devices abound for remembering the names of the lines and spaces of the treble and bass clefs, children often do not remember which saying is for which clef and then which is for lines and which for spaces.
2The dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move: the work gives the sense of a journey in space and time
More example sentences
  • Anything that exists within space is by definition finite, no matter how big it gets.
  • In life, we exist in space and time: time moves forwards with cause and effect, and we physically move around with our bodies.
  • Where these lines converge, there is a tunnel that opens up and moves through space and time into other dimensions.
2.1 (also outer space) The physical universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere.
Example sentences
  • Patrick talks to Dr Duncan Steel about the threat of objects in space colliding with Earth.
  • For instance, consider the problem of launching a vehicle from Earth into space.
  • The Aurora is able to fly from the atmosphere into space and then return to Earth.
outer space, deep space, the universe, the cosmos, the galaxy, the solar system, infinity
2.2The near-vacuum extending between the planets and stars, containing small amounts of gas and dust.
Example sentences
  • Any rocks - like asteroids, or bits of other planets blown into space by volcanoes - are more likely to hit us than the moon.
  • Now we're looking for extrasolar planets, space still has the capacity to make me excited.
  • Sunlight vaporizes the ice, opening fissures which spew gas and dust into space.
2.3 Mathematics A mathematical concept generally regarded as a set of points having some specified structure.
Example sentences
  • Up to this stage quantum theory was set up in Euclidean space and used Cartesian tensors of linear and angular momentum.
  • The maths syllabus covers algebra, shape and space, mental arithmetic, handling data and measures.
  • However he continued to work on topological ideas, in particular embedding complexes in Euclidean space.
3An interval of time (often used to suggest that the time is short considering what has happened or been achieved in it): both their cars were stolen in the space of three days
More example sentences
  • Supervisor Betty was proud of all they had achieved in the space of a year.
  • This was all the more amazing when one considers the short space of time in which it was all organised.
  • In the space of a few short months, he went from being master of a continent to a fugitive.
period, span, time, duration, stretch, course, interval, season, term
4The amount of paper used or needed to write about a subject: there is no space to give further details
More example sentences
  • We need to ask why Paul devotes so much space to the subject in writing to the Corinthians, while saying little about it to other churches.
  • There are a few questions that ask for written responses and you may find that the poll does not allow you enough space to write what you want to say.
  • Although I do not have enough space to write a full response I will do my best.
4.1Pages in a newspaper, or time between television or radio programmes, available for advertising: it is the media person’s job to buy the press space or the TV or radio spots
More example sentences
  • He buys ad space in newspapers to press his case, but the committee is hanging tough.
  • But to me it seemed no different from a publisher paying for advertisement space in a newspaper.
  • The majority of revenue comes from selling advertising space on the radio stations.
5The freedom to live, think, and develop in a way that suits one: a teenager needing her own space
More example sentences
  • They need space and freedom to run their units and develop as independent leaders.
  • He tried to play down his importance to the team, saying he is still young and needs space to develop.
  • We don't give ourselves enough space and freedom to explore, to make mistakes, and to find out who we really are.
6 Telecommunications One of two possible states of a signal in certain systems. The opposite of mark1.


1 [with object] Position (two or more items) at a distance from one another: the poles are spaced 3m apart
More example sentences
  • The distance points are spaced equally on either side of the vanishing point.
  • But a key element of the new practices is an emphasis on spacing beds far enough apart to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Tables on both floors are thankfully spaced widely apart so that you do not have to listen to the other tables' conversations.
place at intervals, separate, place, position, arrange, line up, range, order, array, dispose, lay out, deploy, locate, settle, situate, set, stand, station
1.1(In printing or writing) put blanks between (words, letters, or lines): (as noun spacing) the default setting is single line spacing
More example sentences
  • Thus, the basic letter forms and spacing for a word printed with or without diacritics remain unchanged.
  • With print design, we have precise control over spacing between letters, words and lines of text.
  • The length of each copy is represented by the closely spaced horizontal lines.
2 (be spaced out or chiefly North American space out) informal Be or become euphoric or unaware of one’s surroundings, especially from taking drugs: I was so tired that I began to feel totally spaced out I kind of space out for a few minutes
More example sentences
  • He was totally spacing out as he made his way down the hallway.
  • I tried to get Alex to realize how vulnerable he was at eleven years old, but Alex retreated into a daze - I thought he might be taking drugs, but Alex assured me that he was just spacing out.
  • I've been on a work drive and am feeling totally spaced out, so forgive my incoherence.


watch this space

informal Further developments are expected and more information will be given later: the results of the competition have still to come through—watch this space
More example sentences
  • A special gig to launch this anti-war movement will take place shortly; watch this space for further developments.
  • Another bigger ‘brand sale’ is in the offing so watch this space for more information about dates and times.
  • Get your tickets early folks, this one is going to sell out fast, and watch this space for even more information closer to the date.



Pronunciation: /ˈspeɪsə/
Example sentences
  • The infertile eggs are thought to act as spacers between the fertile eggs, making it easier for the babies to crawl out when they hatch.
  • Where a tree is fastened to a post, a squashy pad or spacer should be inserted between the stem and the post, so that the two do not rub together.
  • To further enhance the energy saving qualities of the windows, non-metallic spacers are used between the glazings.


Middle English: shortening of Old French espace, from Latin spatium. Current verb senses date from the late 17th century.

Words that rhyme with space

abase, ace, apace, backspace, base, bass, brace, case, chase, dace, efface, embrace, encase, enchase, enlace, face, grace, interlace, interspace, in-your-face, lace, mace, misplace, outface, outpace, pace, place, plaice, race, Thrace, trace, upper case

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: space

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