›[I or T]to affect more people or different areas, or to make something do this: In the fall of 2007, the subprime lending crisis really began to spread.High oil prices can spread inflation throughout the economy if companies decide to boost the prices of many other goods and services.spread through/across/around sthA recruitment crisis is currently spreading through the public sector.spread toJob cuts are spreading to big manufacturers.
›[T]to share something among a group of people or things, so that no one person or thing has too much: spread the costs/risks/loadInclude different types of income-yielding investments in your portfolio in order to spread the risk.
›[I or T]to cover a particular area or a number of different areas, or to make something or someone do this: be spread over/throughout/across sthThe company employs 2,100 people spread over five locations.
spread payments/repayments/costs›FINANCEto make regular payments towards the total cost of something, usually for a period of months or years: Repayments can be spread over two years.
spread the word/message›to tell other people about something, especially something new, and say whether you think it is good or bad: Satisfied customers who spread the word play a big part in establishing the reputation of a brand.