spread

(redirected from spreading)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

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.
See also: on, spread, thick

middle-aged spread

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.
See also: spread

spark 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.
See also: spark, spread

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.
See also: and, far, spread, wide

all over

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.
See also: all, over

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.
See also: lay, on, thick

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.
See also: spread, wing

spread the word

To disseminate information through word of mouth. Hey, the game is canceled due to the rain—spread the word.
See also: spread, 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.
See also: spread, thin

all over

 
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.
See also: 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!
See also: all, over

lay it on thick

 and 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.
See also: lay, on, thick

spread all over

(some place) Go to all over (some place). spread it on thick Go to lay it on thick.
See also: all, over, spread

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.
See also: like, spread, wildfire

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.
See also: spread, thin

spread out

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.
See also: out, spread

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.
See also: over, spread

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.
See also: around, spread

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!
See also: around, spread

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.
See also: on, spread, thick

spread something onto something

 and 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.
See also: spread

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.
See also: out, spread

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.
See also: over, spread

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?
See also: spread

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.
See also: spread

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.
See also: spread, word

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.
See also: spread

all over

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.
See also: all, over

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]
See also: lay, on, thick

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]
See also: like, spread, wildfire

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."
See also: spread, thin

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.
See also: spread, thin

lay it on thick

INFORMAL
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.
See also: lay, on, thick

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.
See also: like, spread, wildfire

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.
See also: spread, wing

spread yourself too thin

be involved in so many different activities or projects that your time and energy are not used to good effect.
See also: spread, thin

spread like wildfire

spread with great speed.
See also: like, spread, wildfire

spread (or stretch or try) your wings

extend your activities and interests or start new ones.
See also: spread, wing

all ˈover


1 everywhere: We looked all over for the ring.The news was all over the office within minutes.
2 what you would expect of the person mentioned: That sounds like my sister all over.
See also: all, over

cast/spread your net ˈwide

consider a wide range of possibilities or cover a large area, especially to try to find somebody/something: Unless we spread our net a bit wider, this company will never get enough business.
See also: cast, net, spread, wide

spread like ˈwildfire

(especially of news or disease) travel or spread very quickly: Rumours about a fall in the price of oil spread like wildfire in the city.Cholera spread like wildfire through the camps.
See also: like, spread, wildfire

spread your ˈwings

become more independent and confident enough to try new activities, etc: Studying at university should help you to spread your wings and become independent.
See also: spread, wing

spread the ˈword

tell people about something: Because of her contacts in the business world, he asked Kate to spread the word about his latest venture. OPPOSITE: keep something to yourself
See also: spread, word

spread yourself too ˈthin

try to do so many different things at the same time that you do not do any of them properly: Are you sure you can manage an evening job as well? Don’t you think you’re spreading yourself a bit too thin?
See also: spread, thin

spread out

v.
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.
See also: out, spread

all over

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.
See also: all, over

lay it on thick

Informal
To exaggerate or overstate something.
See also: lay, on, thick

spread (oneself) thin

To work on too many projects: overextend oneself.
See also: spread, thin
References in periodicals archive ?
Board member Betterley called the sewage plant's present spreading practice ``simply horrible.
We conclude that kriging maps can indicate the spreading mode and velocity in conjunction with the extent of antigenic change of A/H3N2.
As the scale of the greatest number of ILI cases obtained at the national level was connected with those from prefectural data and had an effect on the spreading mode and velocity of peak ILI activity, the greatest number of ILI cases obtained from the first prefecture in the season also is worthy of attention.
Meanwhile, another company that was spreading sludge on a westside farm just south of the Kern County line near 140th Street West proposed creating a plant to turn sewage sludge, grass clippings and other types of plant waste into garden compost.
Still, Aphrodite Terra would not look exactly like a spreading center on Earth, Head and Crumpler reasoned, because Venus' high surface temperatures -- averaging around 480 [degrees] C, or almost 900 [degrees] F -- would render the veiled planet's lithosphere much more malleable than the plates here at home.
Spread cucarefully on top of chocolate chips in pan, spreading to touch sides of pan.
According to theory, the spreading process occurs when two oceanic plates separate by several meters and molten rock rises to heal the crack.
While Pima Gro has not decided definitely to halt spreading the Victor Valley sludge in the Antelope Valley, the company has other options, Carroll said.
Traditionally, oceanographers have though such faults separated most spreading segments in the Atlantic, but that turns out to be untrue, says Hans Schouten of Woods Hole.
By accurately identifying and blocking attacks at the source, ForeScout allows companies to be confident that worms and other threats will be stopped automatically from spreading, without requiring constant monitoring, signatures or updates.
The crab appetizer goes together in a jiffy by spreading a package of cream cheese on a plate and topping with bottled cocktail sauce and imitation crab or shrimp.
One of the most exciting recent findswas made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research ship Discover, which lived up to its name last August during a cruise over the Juan de Fuca spreading ridge, 400 miles off the coast of Oregon.
It has been programmed to stop spreading on the 31st of May, 2003 -- roughly in two weeks time.
It is designed to multiply an input clock by an integer or fixed-point number with a frequency spreading capability suitable for PC, networking and consumer electronics applications that require spread-spectrum clock sources to satisfy FCC requirements for RF emissions.
ExploreZip is a destructive piece of malicious software that is spreading in the wild and has already infected numerous corporations in the US and abroad.