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English definition of “sprawl”


verb uk   /sprɔːl/ us    /sprɑːl/ disapproving

sprawl verb (BODY)

[I] to spread the arms and legs out carelessly and untidily while sitting or lying down: I knocked into her in the corridor and sent her sprawling (= knocked her over).

sprawl verb (CITY)

[I usually + adv/prep] (especially of a city) to cover a large area of land with buildings that have been added at different times so that it looks untidy: The refugee camps sprawl across the landscape.
adjective [after verb] uk   /sprɔːld/ us    /sprɑːld/
He was sprawled (out) on the floor.
adjective uk   /ˈsprɔː.lɪŋ/ us    /ˈsprɑː-/
sprawling suburbs


noun uk   /sprɔːl/ us    /sprɑːl/ disapproving

sprawl noun (BODY)

[U] a position with the arms and legs spread out carelessly and untidily while sitting or lying down

sprawl noun (CITY)

[C usually singular] a large area of land covered with buildings that have been added at different times so that it looks untidy: the urban sprawl of South Florida
(Definition of sprawl from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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