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

escapism

a way of avoiding an unpleasant or boring life, especially by thinking, reading, etc. about more exciting but impossible activities

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More