Etymology: Middle English expaunden, from Latin expandere, from ex- + pandere to spread — more at fathom
Date: 15th century
1. to open up ; unfold
2. to increase the extent, number, volume, or scope of ; enlarge
a. to express at length or in greater detail
b. to write out in full <expand all abbreviations> c. to subject to mathematical expansion <expand a function in a power series> intransitive verb 1. to open out ; spread 2. to increase in extent, number, volume, or scope 3. to speak or write fully or in detail <expanded on the theme> 4. to feel generous or optimistic • expandability noun • expandable adjective Synonyms: expand, amplify, swell, distend, inflate, dilate mean to increase in size or volume. expand may apply whether the increase comes from within or without and regardless of manner (as growth, unfolding, addition of parts) <a business that expands every year>. amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate <amplify the statement with details>. swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits <the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions> . distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within <a distended abdomen>. inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a resulting vulnerability and liability to sudden collapse <an inflated ego>. dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference <dilated pupils>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.