Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sprawl”

See all translations

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.
sprawled
adjective [after verb] uk   /sprɔːld/ us    /sprɑːld/
He was sprawled (out) on the floor.
sprawling
adjective uk   /ˈsprɔː.lɪŋ/ us    /ˈsprɑː-/
sprawling suburbs

sprawl

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)
What is the pronunciation of sprawl?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sprawl” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More