Meaning of SPREAD in English



1. fire/liquid/gas

2. information/feelings/ideas/problems etc

3. when a disease spreads

4. to spread things over a wide area

5. when people or things are spread over a wide area

6. when people go in many directions

7. to spread butter, glue etc on a surface

8. to open something out and arrange it on a surface


1. fire/liquid/gas

▷ spread /spred/ [intransitive verb]

if fire, liquid, smoke etc spreads, it moves outwards in all directions to cover a larger area :

▪ The forest fires in the Northwest are spreading out of control.

spread through/across/to etc

▪ By then, the flood water had spread across 80 square miles of farmland.

▪ She knocked over her glass, and a dark pool of wine spread over the tablecloth.

▪ The fire quickly spread to several nearby factories.

▷ permeate /ˈpɜːʳmieɪt/ [transitive verb]

if a gas, liquid, smoke etc permeates a space or substance, it gradually spreads through the whole of it :

▪ Soon the gas had permeated the entire area.

▪ The stench of smoke permeated the air.

▷ run /rʌn/ [intransitive verb]

if a colour runs, it spreads beyond where it should be and begins to colour other things, especially because it has got wet :

▪ I’m afraid the colors ran when I washed your shirt.

▪ She had started crying and her make-up was running down her face.

2. information/feelings/ideas/problems etc

▷ spread /spred/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

if information, an idea, or a feeling spreads, or if you spread it, more and more people begin to know about it or be affected by it :

▪ After she died at a San Jose hospital, word spread fast.

▪ News of the disaster was spreading quickly.

▪ Rumors about Amy spread through the school.

▪ The lawsuit charged the magazine with spreading lies about the company and its products.

spread to/into/through etc

▪ Panic spread through downtown Port-au-Prince.

spread [uncountable noun]

▷ get around/go around also get round British /ˌget əˈraʊnd, ˌgəʊ əˈraʊnd, ˌget ˈraʊnd/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if news or information gets around or goes around, people tell other people, so that soon a lot of people know about it :

▪ News soon got around that Nick was back in Barnstable.

▪ It’s a small place, so news and gossip gets around pretty quickly.

▪ It didn’t take long for word to get around that Moore was leaving the company.

▷ circulate /ˈsɜːʳkjɑleɪt/ [intransitive verb]

if news, information, stories etc circulate, they spread through a large group of people, especially because each person tells it to someone else :

▪ The organization’s intranet system allows information to circulate rapidly.

▪ Rumors began circulating that she was seriously ill.

circulate among

▪ The letter was circulated among news organizations nationwide.

▷ disseminate /dɪˈsemɪneɪt, dɪˈseməneɪt/ [transitive verb] formal

to spread information, ideas etc as widely as possible, especially in order to influence the way people think or behave :

▪ Racist messages are being widely disseminated via the Internet.

▪ The Health Education Council is the central agency for disseminating information about disease prevention.

dissemination /dɪˌsemɪˈneɪʃ ə n, dɪˌseməˈneɪʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ It is very dangerous for a government to have complete control over the dissemination of information within a country.

▷ spill over /ˌspɪl ˈəʊvəʳ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if a problem or bad situation spills over, it spreads beyond the place or situation in which it starts, and begins to affect other places, people, or areas of activity :

spill over to/into/from etc

▪ It is easy to allow personal emotions to spill over into your work.

▪ Government chiefs are worried that the refugee problem might spill over from neighboring countries.

3. when a disease spreads

▷ spread /spred/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

if a disease spreads or is spread, it is passed from one person to another, and it affects more and more people :

▪ Malaria, spread by mosquitoes, is one of the biggest public health problems in Africa.

▪ AIDS is not spread by common everyday contact.

spread through/to/across/from

▪ Cholera is spreading through the refugee camps at an alarming rate.

▪ Meyer and his team were the first to show how the disease spreads from animals to humans.

spread [uncountable noun]

spread of

▪ The only way to prevent the spread of tuberculosis is to cure those infected by the disease.

▷ go around also go round British /ˌgəʊ əˈraʊnd, ˌgəʊ ˈraʊnd/ [intransitive/transitive phrasal verb]

if an illness goes around, it spreads from one person to another, especially in a school, office etc :

▪ There’s some type of throat infection going around at the moment.

▪ If one child gets flu, it seems to go round the entire school within a week.

▷ infectious /ɪnˈfekʃəs/ [adjective]

an infectious disease is spread by being passed from one person to another :

▪ Heavy drinkers are generally more susceptible to infectious diseases.

▪ Doctors say that the disease is most infectious in the first twenty-four hours.

highly infectious

very infectious

▪ The vaccine protects against Hepatitis B, a highly infectious virus.

▷ catch /kætʃ/ [transitive verb]

to get an illness from another person - use this especially about illnesses that are not very serious :

▪ Kristen has the flu, so I guess we’ll all catch it.

▪ Dion caught a cold on vacation.

▷ catching /ˈkætʃɪŋ/ [adjective not before noun] informal

an illness or condition that is catching, especially one that is not very serious, can spread from one person to another :

▪ I hope Shelly’s cold isn’t catching.

▪ I’m keeping Timmy home from school. He has measles and you know how catching it is.

▷ contagious /kənˈteɪdʒəs/ [adjective]

an illness that is contagious can spread easily from one person to another, especially by touch :

▪ Most eye infections are contagious.

highly contagious

very contagious

▪ Chicken pox is highly contagious.

4. to spread things over a wide area

▷ spread /spred/ [transitive verb]

▪ The wind spreads the seeds so that the plants can reproduce.

spread something over/across/through etc

▪ A single tractor was slowly spreading fertilizer over a huge wheatfield.

▷ scatter /ˈskætəʳ/ [transitive verb]

to spread things over a wide area in an irregular and unplanned way :

▪ The storm scattered tiles everywhere.

scatter something over/around/across etc

▪ Why don’t you scatter a few cushions around the room?

5. when people or things are spread over a wide area

▷ scattered /ˈskætəʳd/ [adjective not before noun]

things that are scattered are spread over a large area in an irregular or untidy way :

scattered about/over/among etc

▪ There were books scattered all about their cottage.

▪ Pieces of twisted metal and rusted pipe lay scattered around the yard.

▷ spread out /ˌspred ˈaʊt/ [adjective phrase not before noun]

things that are spread out are spread over a large area with a lot of space between them :

spread out on/among/across

▪ Diane had her newspaper spread out all over the floor.

▪ Several small cabins were spread out across the property.

▷ sprawling /ˈsprɔːlɪŋ/ [adjective only before noun]

spread across a wide area - use this about towns, buildings, or groups of buildings that you think take up too much space and are ugly or unpleasant :

▪ The sprawling conference and resort center even has its own transportation system.

▪ a sprawling city of 2.6 million

▷ dotted /ˈdɒtɪd, ˈdɒtədǁˈdɑːt-/ [adjective not before noun]

if a number of things of the same type are dotted around an area, they are spread over it irregularly and unevenly :

dotted around/along/here and there etc

▪ All we saw were a few workmen’s cottages dotted here and there along the road.

▪ Picnic tables were dotted among the trees.

dotted with

▪ Their street was dotted with burned-out and boarded-up buildings.

▷ strewn /struːn/ [adjective not before noun]

spread unevenly in a way that looks very untidy :

strewn over/around etc

▪ Clothes were strewn all over the bedroom floor.

strewn with

▪ Glover’s yard was strewn with garbage and builders’ debris.

6. when people go in many directions

▷ spread /spred/ [intransitive verb]

spread northwards/eastwards etc

▪ Refugees have entered the south of the country and are spreading northwards.

▷ scatter /ˈskætəʳ/ [intransitive verb]

if a group of people scatters, everyone suddenly moves in different directions, especially in order to escape from danger :

▪ When a police van drove by, the boys scattered.

▪ At the sound of gunfire, the crowd scattered in all directions.

▷ spread out /ˌspred ˈaʊt/ [intransitive/transitive phrasal verb]

if a group of people spreads out, each person moves into a position where they are as far from the others as possible :

▪ ‘Spread out!’ the sergeant shouted. ‘I want the whole area searched.’

▪ I’m sure you’d be more comfortable if you spread yourselves out a little.

spread out across/through etc

▪ Members of the tribe are spread out over hundreds of square miles.

▷ fan out /ˌfæn ˈaʊt/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if a group of people who are searching for someone or something fans out, they spread themselves across an area in order to make sure that they search the whole area :

▪ The men were told to fan out and begin the search.

▪ Scores of FBI agents fanned out on Monday to interview potential witnesses.

▷ split up /ˌsplɪt ˈʌp/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if a group of people split up, they decide not to stay together as a group because they will be able to move faster, find something more easily etc if they are alone or in smaller groups :

▪ The U.N. team split up to inspect several sites in the south of the country.

split up into groups/teams/twos etc

▪ We’d have a much better chance of finding the child if we split up into groups.

7. to spread butter, glue etc on a surface

▷ spread /spred/ [transitive verb]

to put a thin layer of a soft substance, such as butter or glue, on a surface, so that it covers it :

spread something on/over something

▪ Make sure that you spread the glue on both surfaces.

▪ He spread plaster on the walls.

▪ Spread the frosting over the warm pastries.

spread something with something

▪ She spread the toast with butter and jam.

▷ smear /smɪəʳ/ [transitive verb]

to spread a liquid or soft substance over a surface, especially carelessly or when you do not have to keep it within an exact area :

smear something on/smear on something

▪ ‘What time did we say we’d meet them?’ she asked, smearing on a bright red lipstick.

smear something with

▪ Before setting out on their walk, they smeared themselves with sunblock.

8. to open something out and arrange it on a surface

▷ spread/spread out /spred, ˌspred ˈaʊt/ [transitive verb/transitive phrasal verb]

to open something such as a sheet, a map, or a newspaper, and arrange it so that it lies flat on a table, the floor, or another surface :

spread out something

▪ Jim spread out a blanket for her to sit on.

spread something out/over/on etc

▪ Spread the map out and let’s have a look.

▪ I spread the towels over the radiator to dry.

▷ lay out /ˌleɪ ˈaʊt/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to spread something on a table, floor etc, especially so that it can be more easily seen or used later :

lay something out

▪ They spent over an hour laying the food out for the party.

lay out something

▪ I laid all four bathing suits out on the counter and tried to picture myself in one of them.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .