Definition of broad in English:

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Pronunciation: /brôd/


1Having an ample distance from side to side; wide: a broad staircase
More example sentences
  • One was a tremendously tall man, with broad shoulders and huge muscles.
  • At last we left the main highway and turned into a still narrower road, barely one lane wide, with broad dirt shoulders.
  • The men all had identical bodies - huge shaved pecs, broad shoulders, tans and tan lines, white smiles, slightly bulging eyes and bland faces.
1.1(After a measurement) giving the distance from side to side: the valley is three miles long and half a mile broad
More example sentences
  • The castle itself was measured as being 56 feet high, 56 feet broad, and 38 feet in width, and the thickness of the walls was said to be 8 feet.
  • Lough Ennell or Belvidere Lake, southwest of Mullingar, is 5 miles long and 2 miles broad.
  • The island Britain is 800 miles long, and 200 miles broad.
wide, across, in breadth, in width
1.2Large in area; spacious: a broad expanse of prairie
More example sentences
  • Five upward-facing tines Dr. Baker capture tissue and spread pressure over a broad area, facilitating sturdy fixation and reattachment.
  • In these slides, a broad area of snowpack breaks away and begins moving downhill as a cohesive mass riding over an ice sheet or bare ground.
  • Now, as I look at the graphic behind you there, Max, as we see that, that's a broad area that you have there for a danger zone.
extensive, vast, immense, great, spacious, expansive, sizable, sweeping, rolling
2Covering a large number and wide scope of subjects or areas: a broad range of experience
More example sentences
  • It was obvious how diverse all of your interests were, and so I've tried to offer a broad scope of subjects without making one seem more important than the other.
  • We know, and I am sure you know, Mr Chairman, how broad the scope and subject of the Resource Management Act is.
  • Passionate about space, they proposed a university dedicated to a broad range of space-related subjects for graduate students from all parts of the world.
comprehensive, inclusive, extensive, wide, all-embracing, eclectic, unlimited
2.1Having or incorporating a wide range of meanings, applications, or kinds of things; loosely defined: three broad categories of mutual funds
More example sentences
  • It also offers a broad range of software applications and hardware dedicated to the land development market.
  • At the same time, Becker notes, the discipline is broad in theory and application, including a wide range of experimental and applied work.
  • A renewable, tissue culture source of human cells capable of differentiating into a wide variety of cell types would have broad applications in basic research and therapeutic techniques.
2.2Including or coming from many people of many kinds: broad support for the president’s foreign policy
More example sentences
  • Bush reached out for the broad support of Americans on Wednesday, even those who voted against him.
  • Support was broad and bipartisan; contrary to what is often assumed today, a higher proportion of Republicans than of Democrats supported the bill.
  • But Boyko disagreed, saying that anybody who thinks there is broad support for such a proposal is ‘delusional.’
3General; without detail: a broad outline of NATO’s position
More example sentences
  • The mediums much prefer generalities, broad statements, and vague hints, all of which can be ‘interpreted’ generously.
  • It's a broad, sweeping generalization about a communication medium and an art form that has just as many good and bad things going for it as anything else.
  • This is, of course, in addition to his unfortunate tendency to make ridiculously broad generalizations and radically oversimplify complex social and moral issues.
general, nonspecific, unspecific, rough, approximate, basic;
loose, vague
3.1(Of a hint) clear and unambiguous; not subtle: a broad hint
More example sentences
  • Deleeuw suggests that Shakespeare seems to be making rather broad hints about the contradictory nature of the play in these initial scenes.
  • But Philip Ashdown, the school's chairman of governors dropped a broad hint that Mrs White would be reinstated as head of the school.
  • I think the notion of a retrial is a broad hint to him to leave Egypt and go abroad, but so far he has been too stubborn and principled to take such hints.
obvious, unsubtle, explicit, direct, plain, clear, straightforward, bald, patent, transparent, undisguised, overt
3.2Somewhat coarse and indecent: what we regard as broad or even bawdy is a fact of nature to him
More example sentences
  • The humour is broad and robust, but underneath the comedy is delicately balanced with pathos.
  • Northern Broadsides are experts at celebrating the broad humour present in all Shakespeare's plays, with some outstanding performances and impeccable comic timing.
  • Some of the humour may be too broad for more sophisticated audiences, but overall this is a charming way to spend a couple of hours.
3.3(Of a phonetic transcription) showing only meaningful distinctions in sound and ignoring minor details.
Example sentences
  • It is the kind used in pronouncing dictionaries, and is referred to informally as broad transcription.
  • The goal of a broad transcription is to record the phonemes that a speaker uses rather than the actual spoken variants of those phonemes that are produced.
  • A broad transcription would also need to note the difference, because the two words mean different things.
4(Of a regional accent) very noticeable and strong: his broad Bronx accent
More example sentences
  • A central strength in the production is that the local broad regional accent has been used to fine effect throughout, thus giving it an earthy and authentic ‘feel’.
  • He has the pale, pasty set of the sedentary, a fleshy padding of indulgence and a deep, broad accent with an odd similarity to that of Charles Kennedy.
  • You can see this sense of place in the parts she has played, a largely working-class roster of roles that allows her to keep her broad accent, an accent she says she never wants to lose.
pronounced, noticeable, strong, thick


North American informal
A woman.
Example sentences
  • We listen to tough old broad Elaine Stritch belt out a song about tough old broads.
  • I keep forgetting broads don't like it when you call them chicks.
  • Honey - we may be crazy old broads, but we're not dead.



broad in the beam

Fat around the hips.
Example sentences
  • What struck me was that these guys were all well-dressed in suits and that they were all big fellas, not nearly as tall as I am but all real hefty and broad in the beam.
  • Wandering Forbidden Planet, I find myself part of a crowd of scruffy, myopic thirtysomething white boys who've grown a bit broad in the beam from too much sitting and snacking.
  • It would have to be first class because she's a bit broad in the beam.

in broad daylight

During the day, when it is light, and surprising or unexpected for this reason: the kidnapping took place in broad daylight
More example sentences
  • People say they were surprised because it was in broad daylight.
  • How had McWilliams managed to get across a roof and drop down into the yard of a loyalist wing, in broad daylight, without being seen?
  • An 18-year-old woman had her handbag and lunch snatched from her as she walked to work in broad daylight.
full, complete, total;
clear, bright



Pronunciation: /ˈbrôdnəs/
Example sentences
  • I think what you mostly gain getting education is this broadness that creeps into one's perspective of many things.
  • Bill has an undeniable love for humanity, but the problem with this broadness is that it overlooks the details and he ends up hating a lot of actual people - and yeah, it's hatred.
  • With no visible direction from above, the cast decide to amp up the volume and the broadness, but the results are more overbearing than energetic, more grotesque than funny.


Old English brād, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch breed and German breit.

Words that rhyme with broad

aboard, abroad, accord, afford, applaud, award, bawd, board, chord, Claude, cord, ford, fraud, gaud, Gawd, hoard, horde, laud, lord, maraud, milord, sward, sword, toward, unawed, unexplored, unrestored, ward

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: broad

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