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verb[WITH OBJECT]South African
1 Unharness (an animal) from a wagon:‘the wagons were drawn up beside the road and the oxen outspanned’[no object] ‘they outspanned at the hotel’
- ‘We then outspanned for the night.’
- 1.1[no object] Rest or camp at the side of the road while travelling by wagon:‘we used to outspan for five or six hours in the heat of the day’
- ‘I outspanned on what is now Market Square and let the oxen graze there whilst I walked up to where my Aunt lay ill in a tent.’
A place for grazing or camping on a wagon journey.
- ‘The trekking routes and outspans - a term derived from unyoking a team of oxen - became major channels of communication into the interior.’
Early 19th century: from Dutch uitspannen unyoke.
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