I. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sprēawlian Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. a. archaic to lie thrashing or tossing about b. to creep or clamber awkwardly 2. to lie or sit with arms and legs spread out 3. to spread or develop irregularly or without restraint <
bushes sprawling along the road
sprawling suburbs
a sprawling narrative
transitive verb to cause to spread out carelessly or awkwardly <
sprawled out her books on the table
II. noun Date: 1598 1. the act, posture, or condition of sprawling 2. an irregularly spread or scattered group or mass 3. urban sprawl

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sprawl — can refer to:*Sprawl (grappling), a defensive technique in wrestling and martial arts *Urban sprawl, also called suburban sprawl *The Sprawl, the metropolitan region stretching from Boston to Atlanta in William Gibson s fiction …   Wikipedia

  • sprawl — (spr[add]l), n. The position or state resulting from sprawling; as, he sat on the couch in a sprawl; uncontrolled urban sprawl. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sprawl — (spr[add]l), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Sprawled} (spr[add]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Sprawling}.] [OE. spraulen; cf. Sw. sprattla to sprawl, dial. Sw. spralla, Dan. spr[ae]lle, spr[ae]lde, D. spartelen, spertelen, to flounder, to struggle.] 1. To spread… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sprawl — sprawl·er; sprawl·ing·ly; sprawl; …   English syllables

  • sprawl — [sprôl] vi. [ME spraulen < OE spreawlian, to move convulsively: see SPROUT] 1. a) to spread the limbs in a relaxed, awkward, or unnatural position b) to sit or lie in such a position [to sprawl in a chair] 2. to crawl in an awkward, ungainly… …   English World dictionary

  • sprawl — index expand, spread Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • sprawl — [v] sit or lie spread out drape, extend, flop, lie, lie spread eagle*, loll, lounge, ramble, recline, sit, slouch, slump, spread, straddle, straggle, stretch, trail; concept 201 Ant. straighten …   New thesaurus

  • sprawl — ► VERB 1) sit, lie, or fall with one s limbs spread out in an ungainly way. 2) (often as adj. sprawling) spread out irregularly over a large area. ► NOUN 1) a sprawling position or movement. 2) a sprawling group or mass, especially the… …   English terms dictionary

  • sprawl — [[t]sprɔ͟ːl[/t]] sprawls, sprawling, sprawled 1) VERB If you sprawl somewhere, you sit or lie down with your legs and arms spread out in a careless way. → See also sprawled [V prep/adv] She sprawled on the bed as he had left her, not even moving… …   English dictionary

  • sprawl — sprawl1 [spro:l US spro:l] v also sprawl out [I always + adverb/preposition] [: Old English; Origin: spreawlian] 1.) to lie or sit with your arms or legs stretched out in a lazy or careless way ▪ He sprawled out on the sofa. ▪ I tripped on a… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sprawl — 1 verb also sprawl out (intransitive always + adv/prep) 1 to lie or sit with your arms or legs stretched out in a lazy or careless way (+ in/on etc): He just sprawls out in his chair and expects me to bring his dinner. | be sprawled out: The… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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