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spread something out
to open, unfold, or lay something over a wider area. Spread the wet papers out so they will dry. She spread out the papers to dry them.
to separate and distribute over a wide area. The sheriff told the members of the posse to spread out and continue their search. The wine spread out and stained a large area of the carpet.
1. To open something to a fuller extent or width; stretch something out: The bat spread out its wings and flew through the cave. We spread the blanket out and sat down for a picnic.
2. To be extended or enlarged: The butter spread out across the pan as it melted. The bird's wings spread out to a span of ten feet.
3. To make wider the gap between some things or people; move some things or people farther apart: Your hand can cover the hole if you spread out your fingers. The instructor spread the dancers out across the floor.
4. To become distributed or widely dispersed: The cracks spread out across the windshield. We spread out to search the field.
5. To distribute something over a surface in a layer: The chef spread out the frosting with a spatula. Start by applying a splotch of paint to the wall, and spread it out with a fine brush.
6. To make a wide or extensive arrangement of something: The magician spread out the cards and asked us to choose one. We spread the bicycle parts out on the floor.
7. To be exhibited, displayed, or visible in broad or full extent: The prairie spread out in front of the pioneers.
8. To display the full extent of something. Used in the passive: The vast landscape was spread out before us.