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spread it on thick
To exaggerate, aggrandize, or overstate some emotional experience, response, or appeal, such as blame, praise, flattery, excuses, etc. Jim carries on as though flattering the boss will get him a promotion, so he's always spreading it on thick for her. OK, Bob, I think Mary understands the trouble she's in, no need to spread it on so thick.
Weight that accumulates around a person's midsection due to a decrease in metabolism caused by aging. Barry suddenly started dieting and exercising to prevent the middle-aged spread.
The income made by selling electricity, after the cost of the fuel used to produce the electricity has been subtracted. We need to analyze the spark spread, to determine if the electrical plant can stay open.
spread far and wide
To disseminate or be disseminated on a large scale, especially to a large number of people. Well, that rumor about me has sure spread far and wide—even the teachers know about it! The government wants to keep this scandal a secret, which means we need to make sure it spreads far and wide. Western commercial culture has spread far and wide, and you can now find fast food restaurants in every corner of the globe.
1. Crowding, covering, or in close proximity to something, especially in a way that is unwanted or unexpected. In this usage, "all over" is followed by a person. I had barely walked in the door when reporters were all over me for a story.
2. Scattered in many locations in a particular area or place. How can anyone sit down when your clothes are all over the room? How did you not know about the show? There were posters all over campus.
3. Done. Often said when an outcome is no longer possible. It's all over—there's no way we'll score a goal to tie it in the last seconds. The party's all over now—people started leaving an hour ago. It's all over with me and Diane. We just fought too much.
lay it on thick
To exaggerate, overembellish, or overstate some emotional experience, response, or appeal, such as blame, praise, flattery, excuses, etc. Jim carries on as though flattering the boss will get him a promotion, so he's always laying it on thick for her. Bob, I think Mary understands the trouble she's in, no need to lay it on so thick. News of the bailout has laid the turbulent markets at rest, at least for the time being.
spread (one's) wings
To start to use one's talents or abilities, or to start to experience new things for the first time. Likened to a bird opening its wings before starting to fly. I know if you just spread your wings, you'll be a really successful writer. But you have to start taking it seriously. Now that I'm finished school, I feel like I really want to spread my swings and see what's out there for me.
spread the word
To disseminate information through word of mouth. Hey, the game is canceled due to the rain—spread the word.
spread (oneself) thin
1. To take on too many tasks or responsibilities. I'm sorry, but I can't take on another tutoring job this semester—I've already spread myself too thin.
2. To lack in resources. If we take on another tutoring job while so many tutors are out sick already, we'll be spreading ourselves too thin.
1. and (all) over with finished. Dinner is all over. I'm sorry you didn't get any. It's all over. He's dead now.
2. everywhere. Oh, I just itch all over. She's spreading the rumor all over.
*all over (some place)
found in every place; available in all locations. (*Typically: be ~; Spread ~.) The window shattered and shards of glass were all over the place. There are ants all over the cake!
lay it on thickand lay it on with a trowel; pour it on thick; spread it on thick
Fig. to exaggerate or over-state praise, excuses, or blame. Sally was laying it on thick when she said that Tom was the best singer she had ever heard. After Bob finished making his excuses, Sally said that he was pouring it on thick. Bob always spreads it on thick.
spread all over
(some place) Go to all over (some place). spread it on thick Go to lay it on thick.
spread like wildfire
Fig. [for something] to spread rapidly. Rumors spread like wildfire when people are excited. This disease will spread like wildfire when it gets going.
spread oneself too thin
Fig. to do so many things at one time that you can do none of them well. It's a good idea to get involved in a lot of activities, but don't spread yourself too thin. I'm too busy these days. I'm afraid I've spread myself too thin.
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.
spread over someone or something
[for something] to cover someone or something gradually. The shade slowly spread over the picnickers. Dusk spread its final shadows over the land.
spread someone or something around
to distribute people or things over an area. Spread the good singers around so they can help the others in the choir. Liz spread around the seeds so they would dry.
spread something around
to distribute news or gossip. Please don't spread this around, but Don ran away from home! Don't spread around that story!
spread something on thick
1. to distribute a thick layer of something. This paint will cover well if you spread it on thick. If you spread the paint on thick, you will only need one coat.
2. Go to lay it on thick.
spread something onto somethingand spread something on
to distribute a coating of something onto something. Spread the butter onto the bread evenly. Spread on the butter evenly. Donna spread the paint on with a roller.
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.
spread something over someone or something
to cause something to cover or be distributed over someone or something. The cloud spread its shadow over everyone at the picnic. We spread fertilizer over the prepared ground. He spread the work over a few weeks.
spread something under someone or something
to extend or unfold something, such as a tarpaulin, beneath someone or something. Please spread some newspapers under Jimmy while he is working this clay. Would you spread some newspapers under your work, please?
spread something with something
to cover something with a coat of something. Using the roller, Judy spread the wall with a thick coat of pink paint. Spread the lasagna with a layer of cheese mixture and cover that with another layer of lasagna.
spread the word
to tell many people some kind of information. I need to spread the word that the meeting is canceled for this afternoon.
spread to someone or something
to expand or extend to reach someone or something. The epidemic finally spread to me and my family. The business slowdown spread to the West Coast.
1. Everywhere. The phrase may be used alone, as in I've looked all over for that book, or The very thought of poison ivy makes me itch all over. In addition it can be used as a preposition, meaning "throughout," as in The news spread all over town. [Early 1600s] Also see far and wide.
2. In all respects, as in He is his Aunt Mary all over. Charles Lamb had this usage in a letter (1799) about a poem: "The last lines ... are Burns all over." [Early 1700s]
3. Also, all over again. Again from the beginning. For example, They're going to play the piece all over, or Do you mean you're starting all over again? [Mid-1500s]
4. Also, all over with. Quite finished, completed, as in By the time I arrived the game was all over, or Now that she passed the test, her problems are all over with. This phrase uses over in the sense of "finished," a usage dating from the 1300s. Also see all over but the shouting; have it (all over), def. 4.
lay it on thick
Also, lay it on with a trowel. Exaggerate, overstate; also, flatter effusively. For example, Jane laid it on thick when she said this was the greatest book she'd ever read, or Tom thought he'd get the senator to waive the speaker's fee if he just laid it on with a trowel . This idiom alludes to applying a thick coat of paint or plaster. [c. 1600]
spread like wildfire
Disseminate or circulate very quickly, as in The rumor about their divorce spread like wildfire. The noun wildfire means "a raging, rapidly spreading conflagration." [c. 1800]
spread oneself too thin
Overextend oneself, undertake too many different enterprises. For example, Tom's exhausted; what with work, volunteer activities, and social life he's spread himself too thin . This expression alludes to smearing something (like butter on bread) in such a thin layer that it does not cover the surface. Jonathan Swift used spread thin in a positive sense, that is, something should occur less often ( Polite Conversation, 1731-1738): "They [polite speeches] ought to be husbanded better, and spread much thinner."
spread yourself too thin
If you spread yourself too thin, you try to do too many different things at the same time, with the result that you cannot do any of them well. At the time I was spreading myself too thin, with lots of different projects. Note: Other adverbs can be used instead of too. `There are 80 of us taking care of 117 departments.' — `Isn't that spreading yourself a little thin?' Note: You can also say that a person or organization spreads themselves too thinly. Like so many businesses, the company grew too fast and spread itself too thinly across too many different areas.
lay it on thickINFORMAL
If you lay it on thick, you try to make something seem more important than it really is when you talk or write about it. Gerhardt explained the position to the Press Officer, laying it on thick about Adrian Winter's importance. Ask someone to tell him how good you are at your job. Get them to lay it on thick. Compare with lay it on with a trowel.
spread like wildfire
COMMON If something, especially information or a disease, spreads like wildfire, it very quickly reaches or affects a lot of people. The news of his release spread like wildfire. These stories were spreading like wildfire through the neighbourhood. The virus swept through the team like wildfire. Note: This expression may refer to the way that fires which start in the countryside spread very quickly and are difficult to control.
spread your wings
COMMON If you spread your wings, you start to do new or more interesting things. Michelle has been in the show since she left school and feels like she needs to spread her wings. I was 23 and still living with my parents. I just felt it was time to spread my wings.
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.
1. Completely ended or finished: Their marriage is all over.
2. In every part; everywhere: The storm swept across the island and left damage all over.
3. Typical of the person or thing just mentioned: Making wisecracks like that—that's Jim all over.
4. Showing much romantic interest or being in close contact: He was all over her during the slow dance.
5. Persistently or harshly critical or scolding: The coach was all over me about missing practice.
lay it on thickInformal
To exaggerate or overstate something.
spread (oneself) thin
To work on too many projects: overextend oneself.