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Span Definition


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Other Span Definition

[n] the act of sitting or standing astride
[n] a structure that allows people or vehicles to cross an obstacle such as a river or canal or railway etc.
[n] the distance or interval between two points
[n] a unit of length based on the width of the expanded human hand (usually taken as 9 inches)
[n] two items of the same kind
[n] the complete duration of something; "the job was finished in the span of an hour"
[v] to cover a wide area; "Rivers traverse the valley floor", "The parking lot spans 3 acres"

Misc. Definitions

\Span\, archaic imp. & p. p. of {Spin}.
\Span\, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp["o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ]
1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom.
2. Hence, a small space or a brief portion of time. Yet not to earth's contracted span Thy goodness let me bound. --Pope. Life's but a span; I'll every inch enjoy. --Farquhar.
3. The spread or extent of an arch between its abutments, or of a beam, girder, truss, roof, bridge, or the like, between its supports.
4. (Naut.) A rope having its ends made fast so that a purchase can be hooked to the bight; also, a rope made fast in the center so that both ends can be used.
5. [Cf. D. span, Sw. spann, Dan. sp[ae]nd, G. gespann. See {Span}, v. t. ] A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action. {Span blocks} (Naut.), blocks at the topmast and topgallant-mast heads, for the studding-sail halyards. {Span counter}, an old English child's game, in which one throws a counter on the ground, and another tries to hit it with his counter, or to get his counter so near it that he can span the space between them, and touch both the counters. --Halliwell. ``Henry V., in whose time boys went to span counter for French crowns.'' --Shak. {Span iron} (Naut.), a special kind of harpoon, usually secured just below the gunwale of a whaleboat. {Span roof}, a common roof, having two slopes and one ridge, with eaves on both sides. --Gwilt. {Span shackle} (Naut.), a large bolt driven through the forecastle deck, with a triangular shackle in the head to receive the heel of the old-fashioned fish davit. --Ham. Nav. Encyc.
\Span\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spanned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spanning}.] [AS. pannan; akin to D. & G. spannen, OHG. spannan, Sw. sp["a]nna, Dan. sp[ae]nde, Icel. spenna, and perh. to Gr. ? to draw, to drag, L. spatium space. [root]170. Cf. {Spin}, v. t., {Space}, {Spasm}.]
1. To measure by the span of the hand with the fingers extended, or with the fingers encompassing the object; as, to span a space or distance; to span a cylinder. My right hand hath spanned the heavens. --Isa. xiviii. 1
3.
2. To reach from one side of to the order; to stretch over as an arch. The rivers were spanned by arches of solid masonry. --prescott.
3. To fetter, as a horse; to hobble.
\Span\, v. i. To be matched, as horses. [U. S.]

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  • How many syllables are in Span.
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