Definition of expand in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪkˈspand/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈspand/


1Become or make larger or more extensive: [no object]: their business expanded into other hotels [with object]: the work began as a short story and was later expanded into a novel
More example sentences
  • Range-wide, the number of migrants has increased, and the breeding population has recently expanded into Siberia.
  • ‘I think this should be expanded into a much bigger conference,’ he said.
  • The service, which is currently being expanded into the Cotswold area, is aimed at vulnerable people aged between 16 and 25.
increase in size, become larger, enlarge;
swell, become distended, dilate, inflate, balloon, puff out/up;
lengthen, stretch;
thicken, fatten, fill out
rare intumesce, tumefy
grow, become/make larger, become/make bigger, increase in size/scope;
extend, augment, broaden, widen, develop, diversify, multiply, add to, build up, scale up;
branch out, broaden one's horizons, extend one's operations;
spread, proliferate, mushroom
1.1 [no object] Physics (Of the universe) undergo a continuous change whereby, according to theory based on observed red shifts, all the galaxies recede from one another.
Example sentences
  • The observable universe is expanding, and not in a steady state.
  • Eventually, gravity causes these denser regions to collapse to form stars and galaxies as the universe expands.
  • If that is true, then gravity's forcefulness should diminish as the universe expands and diffuses its cosmic density.
1.2 [no object] (expand on) Give a fuller version or account of: the minister expanded on the government’s proposals
More example sentences
  • This version has expanded on the limited repertoire of the original.
  • There wasn't a lot of information there; I had to expand on it, invent the colour scheme.
  • Although the 1916 film follows the basic plot elements of the Grimm version, it also greatly expands on the original.
elaborate on, enlarge on, add detail to, go into detail about, flesh out, put flesh on the bones of, develop, supplement, amplify, expatiate on;
embellish, embroider, pad out, fill out
1.3 [no object] Become less reserved in character or behaviour: Alice opened and expanded in this normality
relax, unbend, become relaxed, grow friendlier, become less reserved, become more sociable
informal loosen up
North American informal hang loose



Example sentences
  • It's certainly difficult to see the Cube appealing to mainstream consumers or professional buyers, thanks to its price and lack of expandability.
  • Luckily it has four USB slots, which certainly compensate for its limited internal expandability.
  • Cellphones are about more features in less space, not expandability.


Pronunciation: /ɪkˈspandəb(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈspandəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The suitcase was a solid framed, expandable, black padded zip case on wheels which measured two-and-a-half feet by two feet by one foot at normal size.
  • Its simple and logical framework is based on the principle of decimal fractions as class marks, which are expandable to make further subdivisions.
  • The time table is expandable to cater for increased volume of commuters, he said.


Pronunciation: /ɪkˈspandə/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈspandə/
Example sentences
  • Plasma expanders can be used to dilute the concentration of foreign substances in their blood stream, as they increase the fluid component of blood.
  • Dubbed mind expanders, these drugs are said to raise self-awareness and summon feelings of religious or mystical connection.
  • She's been out pricing new cases, protective screens, memory expanders - you name it, she's got a quote for it.


Pronunciation: /ɪkspandəˈbɪlɪti/
Pronunciation: /ɛkspandəˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • Consequently, the thermal expansibility of the unfolded state of 23-kDa protein is larger than that of the folded state by ~ 1.8 ml/deg mol.
  • The decrease in thermal expansibility of the transition state relative to the unfolded state leads to a similar conclusion-namely, that the significant structural constraints also existed in the rate-limiting step for the folding.
  • Banks expanded their issues, and writers began praising the flexibility, expansibility, and wealth-creating power of an irredeemable paper currency.


Pronunciation: /ɪkˈspansəb(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈspansəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The parameters of ‘offense’ are now totally without definition and have turned infinitely expansible.
  • Reserve soldiers are valued assets in developing internal procedures for the expansible Theater Support Command structure.
  • The contract includes 15 types of trucks that can carry payloads from 2.5 to 7.5 tons and adds a new 5-ton expansible van truck variant.


Late Middle English: from Latin expandere 'to spread out', from ex- 'out' + pandere 'to spread'.

  • pace from Middle English:

    The word pace comes via Old French pas from Latin passus ‘stretch (of the leg)’. As well as stepping, it also meant ‘journey, route’ in early examples. To be put through your paces arose in the mid 18th century from horse-riding. The notion of ‘tempo’ as in change of pace is from the 1950s while pace yourself is only found from the 1970s. Other words from the same root are pass in the sense to go by, passage (Middle English); passenger (Middle English) the ‘n’ added to conform with words like ‘messenger’; and expand, literally to stretch out. The Old French form of expand, espandre, has the special sense of ‘to shed, spill, pour out’ and is the origin of to spawn (Late Middle English).

Words that rhyme with expand

and, band, bland, brand, firsthand, gland, grand, hand, land, manned, misunderstand, offhand, rand, righthand, Samarkand, sand, stand, strand, thirdhand, underhand, undermanned, understand, unplanned, untanned, withstand

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex¦pand

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