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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun span:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb span:

Video footage: cave in rock aerial the span of the side
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Definition of the noun span

What does span mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: spans

  1. the complete duration of something
    • example: the job was finished in the span of an hour
    • lexical domain: Time - nouns denoting time and temporal relations
    • more generic words: continuance / duration = the period of time during which something continues
    • more specific term: attention span = the length of time you can concentrate on some idea or activity
  2. the distance or interval between two points
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • more generic word: distance = the property created by the space between two objects or points
  3. two items of the same kind
  4. a unit of length based on the width of the expanded human hand (usually taken as 9 inches)
  5. a structure that allows people or vehicles to cross an obstacle such as a river or canal or railway etc.
  6. the act of sitting or standing astride
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of span: straddle
    • more generic words: motility / motion / move / movement = a change of position that does not entail a change of location
    • parts:
      • call option / call = the option to buy a given stock (or stock index or commodity future) at a given price before a given date
      • put option / put = the option to sell a given stock (or stock index or commodity future) at a given price before a given date

Alternative definition of the noun span


  1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom.
  2. Hence, a small space or a brief portion of time.
  3. The spread or extent of an arch or between its abutments, or of a beam, girder, truss, roof, bridge, or the like, between supports.
  4. The length of a cable, wire, rope, chain between two consecutive supports.
  5. [nautical] A rope having its ends made fast so that a purchase can be hooked to the bight; also, a rope made fast in the center so that both ends can be used.
  6. [obsolete] A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action.
  7. [mathematics] the space of all linear combinations of something

Specialised definition of the noun span

Glossary of sports / rowing

the distance from the pin or pivot point of the gate to the centre line of the boat (in sculls, to the pin of the other gate) (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

Definition of the verb span

What does span mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: spanned, spanning

  1. to cover or extend over an area or time period

Alternative definition of the verb span


  1. To traverse the distance between.
  2. To cover or extend over an area or time period.
  3. [mathematics] to generate an entire space by means of linear combinations
  4. simple past of spin


  1. Span was a Norwegian rock band that formed in 2000 from the ashes of two other outfits; Explicit Lyrics and Squid. Self-proclaimed as "Norwegian Turbo-Rock 'n' Roll Commandos", the band was made of Jarle Bernhoft on lead vocals and guitar, Fridtjof Nilsen on guitar, Vemund Stavnes on bass and Fredrik Wallumrød on drums. When Vemund Stavnes left in 2003, he was replaced by Kim Nordbæk.
  2. Span ist eine schweizerische Mundartrock-Band, die 1972 als Grünspan gegründet wurde.

There are other groups with in their name, like Steeleye Span, Mike Stuart Span and Mike Stuart Span/Leviathan.


"Span" is a composition.


"Span" is a book by Lionel Wigmore.

  • also known as "Span: an adventure in Asian and Australian writing"


  1. Span: In category theory, a span, roof or correspondence is a generalization of the notion of relation between two objects of a category. When the category has all pullbacks, spans can be considered as morphisms in a category of fractions.
  2. Span is a programming language targeting the Parrot virtual machine. Its syntax is meant to be very similar to C, but its philosophy is Smalltalk-like, and it uses Smalltalk-style message syntax. Almost all of Span's library visible to the user is written in Span itself. Span is dynamically typed.
  3. Span is an educational institution, school.
  4. SPAN is the printed version of SPAN ezine, published bimonthly by U.S. Embassy New Delhi.
    • also known as SPAN Magazine

Phrases with Span

  1. span loading
  2. Knot Span
  3. long-span
  4. Memory-Span
  5. spic-and-span
  6. attention span
  7. spick-and-span

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Span

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThe Way of Music (2007)

Aural Training for the Internet Generation by Robin Maconie

An attention span is the length of time during which a listener can stay focused.

Google previewChild Development (2017)

A Practical Introduction by Kevin Crowley

Memory span is a measure of the capacity of short-term memory and is typically measured using a digit span task in which a child has to repeat a sequence of digits. With each correct repetition, the sequence length is increased by one digit ...

Google previewNeuropsychological Evaluation of the Child (2003)

by Ida Sue Baron

Span Tests Span refers to the ability to hold an adequate amount of information in working memory (Baddeley, 1976). It refers to how much information can be held after a single presentation in correct serial order. The stimuli might be digits, ...

Google previewRereading Doris Lessing (2014)

Narrative Patterns of Doubling and Repetition by Claire Sprague

Its two-year time span is the briefest of the first four novels and contrasts sharply with the twenty-year time span permitted in The Four-Gated City (fifty if the appendix is added on). Yet Ripple, like The Four-Gated City, may be described as ...

Google previewEncyclopaedic Dictionary of Organization Behaviour (2000)

by Rahul Arora

/ Span of Control Figure S-l. Relationship between organizational contingencies and software ergonomic criteria. To help sofware designers to develop usable and functional software, guidelines, and style guides provide detailed rules ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Special Education (2007)

A Reference for the Education of Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Disabilities and Other Exceptional Individuals by Cecil R. Reynolds, Elaine Fletcher-Janzen

Perceptual span is the amount of information that is acquired during the eye fixation. In reading our visual field can be divided into three different regions with respect to fixation: foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral. Although acuity is very good in ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Communication Theory (2009)

by Stephen W. Littlejohn, Karen A. Foss

Life span communication theory should ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Span

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Photos about Span

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Small photo of Los Angeles, CA, USA - April 5, 2018: Maroon four-story connecting bridge at Blossom Plaza Apartments and retail spaces in Chinatown. Balloon-shaped lanterns span between buildings. Metro station backSmall photo of KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA -MAY 14, 2018: Pre-stress cable tendons and anchor part of the pre-stressed concrete. It is a construction technology to get better concrete slab quality with larger span.Small photo of KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA -MAY 14, 2018: Pre-stress cable tendons and anchor part of the pre-stressed concrete. It is a construction technology to get better concrete slab quality with larger span.Small photo of KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA -MAY 14, 2018: Pre-stress cable tendons and anchor part of the pre-stressed concrete. It is a construction technology to get better concrete slab quality with larger span.Small photo of Navajo Bridge over Colorado River in Marble Canyon, Arizona Span Arch Lee's FerrySmall photo of San Francisco, Embarcadero, CA - 08/02/2010 - Cupid's Span, sculture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen .Small photo of Heron huge bird trying to hide in disguise against a tall tree massive wing span long neck More...

Video language resources about Span

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View more videos about Knot Span, Memory span, and Attention span.

See also the pronunciation examples of Span!

Quotes about Span

Our span of life is brief, but is long enough for us to live well and honestly. (Cicero)
more quotes about span...

Scrabble value of S1P3A1N1

The value of this 4-letter word is 6 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of SPAN

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What do you get if you reverse the order of the letters?

See also the index of semordnilaps!

Other anagrams

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See also the blanagrams of Span!

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