Definition of expand in English:



  • 1Become or make larger or more extensive.

    [no object] ‘their business expanded into other hotels and properties’
    [with object] ‘baby birds cannot expand and contract their lungs’
    • ‘‘I think this should be expanded into a much bigger conference,’ he said.’
    • ‘It's a compelling read, and the original article has now been expanded into a book.’
    • ‘The range of products is expanding just as exponentially as the means of operation.’
    • ‘The service, which is currently being expanded into the Cotswold area, is aimed at vulnerable people aged between 16 and 25.’
    • ‘Whatever you like, whatever your interests are, broadband internet will help them flourish and expand.’
    • ‘There are several new courses on offer and with archaeology showing as a subject many people wish to study it is to be expanded into new topic areas.’
    • ‘Some of these pieces were later expanded into full-length books.’
    • ‘The software company believes that the speller engine can be expanded into others areas of language learning and teaching.’
    • ‘Only when her novel expands to include characters other than Nathan and Cynthia does it begin to feel like something written in three days.’
    • ‘Another upside to launching a number of local campaigns is the opportunity to discover a hit campaign in one market that can be expanded into other markets.’
    • ‘It could be expanded into something really good.’
    • ‘The road leading to the proposed international airport in Bangalore is being expanded into a four-lane highway.’
    • ‘Others also suggested the transformative character of an expanding female work force.’
    • ‘We are pushing for the trade agreement to be expanded into all of Latin America.’
    • ‘Unemployment insurance should be extended and expanded.’
    • ‘There is a tremendous sense of the city expanding and prospering.’
    • ‘Range-wide, the number of migrants has increased, and the breeding population has recently expanded into Siberia.’
    • ‘It was shortlisted for an award and is now being expanded into a full-length feature.’
    • ‘An innovative project aimed at easing travel problems for young people in rural areas is expanding after proving a success.’
    • ‘There is strong evidence that traffic expands to fill the available road space.’
    grow, become larger, make larger, become bigger, make bigger, increase in scope, increase in size
    increase in size, become larger, enlarge
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    1. 1.1Physics [no object] (of the universe) undergo a continuous change whereby, according to theory based on observed redshifts, all the galaxies recede from one another.
      • ‘If that is true, then gravity's forcefulness should diminish as the universe expands and diffuses its cosmic density.’
      • ‘As the universe expands, the theories suggest, monopole density becomes very much smaller and thus monopoles would be more difficult to find.’
      • ‘This reveals how fast the universe was expanding at the time the supernova explosion occurred.’
      • ‘The observable universe is expanding, and not in a steady state.’
      • ‘Eventually, gravity causes these denser regions to collapse to form stars and galaxies as the universe expands.’
    2. 1.2expand on[no object] Give a fuller version or account of.
      ‘Anne expanded on the theory’
      • ‘He expands on Wally's thoughts, to grandiose proportions.’
      • ‘Kevin expands on his earlier post here and I think he makes some good points.’
      • ‘She then proceeds to clarify some of these misconceptions and expands on what it is that makes Muslims unique.’
      • ‘The lengthy dialogue when Madhan expands on his views on women is rather tiring.’
      • ‘As he quaffs an order of oysters, he expands on the theme of the soul of the writer.’
      • ‘We've talked about many of the items we carry, and this expands on what we write.’
      • ‘He expands on the theme, and I agree entirely.’
      • ‘He then expands on his republican philosophy, talking in terms of supporting citizens from cradle to grave.’
      • ‘The columnist expands on this piece in the newspaper and explains why it was so darn dumb.’
      • ‘It expands on his concerns over the intimate relationship between the fund and private financiers, but now regrets naming a particular person to illustrate them.’
      • ‘As with earlier photographers, the critical power of each image builds and expands on those that precede it.’
      • ‘There wasn't a lot of information there; I had to expand on it, invent the colour scheme.’
      • ‘Although the 1916 film follows the basic plot elements of the Grimm version, it also greatly expands on the original.’
      • ‘He expands on this idea and traces the roots of the disagreement.’
      • ‘This version has expanded on the limited repertoire of the original.’
      • ‘It does not replicate or expand on the programmes, but offers an account of the century to serve as a background, or context, for them.’
      • ‘He develops a general account of spatial capitalist production, bringing together and expanding on ideas developed in his large corpus of empirically based work.’
      • ‘The 14th festival expands on the international theme and brings together contributors from across the globe.’
      • ‘But as the bill expands on how that strategy will be delivered, it raises some alarming issues.’
      • ‘The series expands on the collage theme that has preoccupied her for the past decade or so.’
      elaborate on, enlarge on, add detail to, go into detail about, flesh out, put flesh on the bones of, develop, supplement, amplify, expatiate on
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Late Middle English: from Latin expandere to spread out from ex- out + pandere to spread.