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Definition of "sprawl" [sprawl]

  • To sit or lie with the body and limbs spread out awkwardly. (verb-intransitive)
  • To spread out in a straggling or disordered fashion: untidy tenements sprawling toward the river. (verb-intransitive)
  • To cause to spread out in a straggling or disordered fashion. (verb-transitive)
  • A sprawling position or posture. (noun)
  • Haphazard growth or extension outward, especially that resulting from real estate development on the outskirts of a city: urban sprawl. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "sprawl" in a sentence
  • "Theer's more kick an 'sprawl [Footnote: _Kick an' sprawl_ -- Strength, vitality.] in me than theer 'ave bin; an' I feels more hopeful like 'bout the future. ""
  • "There is the familiar variety of mess, which we call sprawl; but there is another kind of mess that tends towards the singularity--the too-neat desk where the mess has been brought without resolving it into a singularity, where the will-to-mere-neatness has overruled the will-to-actual-order."
  • "But the model of their "sprawl" is quite a bit different: Zoom in and look closely; there's agricultural lands and woodland interspersed among the residential areas."