Definition of splay in English:

splay

Line breaks: splay
Pronunciation: /spleɪ
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Thrust or spread (things, especially limbs or fingers) out and apart: her hands were splayed across his broad shoulders he stood with his legs and arms splayed out
More example sentences
  • Sharma's feet were splayed, set apart from each other in disgrace, his work unfinished.
  • His legs are splayed out, one stretching behind him in a straight line, the other knee bent and lying on something that seems to have broken his fall.
  • To do so requires that their legs are splayed quite far apart in order for them to bring their head to ground level.
1.1 [no object] (Especially of limbs or fingers) be thrust or spread out and apart: his legs splayed out in front of him
More example sentences
  • But her long legs splayed out spread eagle, and her dress up to her waist.
  • His fingers and toes splayed out, his tail arced, bracing for impact.
  • She bent her legs and wiggled her entire body in a jerky motion, flicking her long fingers outward, while her wooden silk hair splayed out around her as the crimson ribbon was lost.
1.2 [no object] Become wider or more separated: the river splayed out, deepening to become an estuary
More example sentences
  • Di Giorgio Martini's fortress walls splay outwards, down to the sea to repel marauding buccaneers.
  • The rear set of wings was almost nonexistent and the tail's ‘fin’ was beginning to lengthen in the middle while the sides splayed outward.
  • Entrance is through a stout east-facing wooden door, beyond which the flagstone hallway splays three ways.
1.3 (usually as adjective splayed) Construct (a window, doorway, or other aperture) so that it diverges or is wider at one side of the wall than the other: the walls are pierced by splayed window openings
More example sentences
  • The walls, built of coursed red stone, stand almost 4 m. high with two doorways and five splayed windows.
  • The main entrance to Hillyfields is now through an access set between splayed walls which are constructed across the disputed strip almost up to the edge of the metalled driveway.
  • The bands form a matrix for a mathematically calculated grid of deeply recessed and splayed bays each containing windows of different sizes.

noun

Back to top  
1A tapered widening of a road at an intersection to increase visibility.
More example sentences
  • There was an agreement between the county council and the firm that parking would be allowed on the access road in return for taking up a number of parking spaces in London Road for a visibility splay.
  • Butcher John Sumbler said that when Kelham Gardens was built a number of parking spaces in London Road were lost when a visibility splay for the new estate was provided as a highway requirement.
  • One thing they did like was reducing the width of the splays at the entrance to side roads along Brickley Lane.
2A surface making an oblique angle with another, especially a splayed window or other aperture.
More example sentences
  • The fault breaks into many splays near the surface, forming a flower structure, some strands of which show normal displacements and some of which show thrust and strike-slip displacements.
  • The Klima fault zone has been active since deposition of the Plio-Pleistocene Galini Formation through Holocene time as smaller-scale fault splays penetrate the modern, scree-covered surface.
  • Nevertheless, several clear and important trends of probable Tertiary faults are present on satellite images; in particular, the two NW-SE splays and a NNW-SSE trend marked a, b and c in Figure 5.
2.1 [mass noun] The degree of bevel or slant of a surface.
More example sentences
  • The degree of splay is inconsistent even from leg to leg on the same chest.
  • We calculated the energy of splay and tilt deformations necessary to avoid such hydrophobic exposure.
  • Negative splay thus increases and positive splay decreases the monolayer thickness.

adjective

[usually in combination] Back to top  
Turned outward or widened: the girls were sitting splay-legged

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'unfold to view, display'): shortening of the verb display.

More definitions of splay

Definition of splay in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day grammarian
Pronunciation: grəˈme(ə)rēən
noun
a person who studies and writes about grammar