AskDefine | Define sprawl

Dictionary Definition

sprawl n : an ungainly posture with arms and legs spread about [syn: sprawling]


1 sit or lie with one's limbs spread out
2 go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way; "Branches straggling out quite far" [syn: straggle]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To sit with the limbs spread out.
  2. To spread out in a disorderly fashion; to straggle.


  • 2008 January 19, Mo Rocca, Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, National Public Radio
    The thirty-two thousand square-foot villa, set in the middle of a sprawling quarter-acre lot, was advertised as authentic Italian.


to sit with limbs spread out
  • Finnish: retkottaa
to spread out in disorderly fashion
  • Finnish: rehottaa, levitä


  1. An ungainly sprawling posture.
  2. A straggling, haphazard growth, especially of housing on the edge of a city.


ungainly sprawling posture
  • Finnish: retkotus
haphazard growth
  • Finnish: leviäminen

Derived terms

See also

Extensive Definition

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

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accubation, accumbency, be lengthy, be prolonged, bed, bed down, belong, branch, branch out, capsize, careen, come a cropper, couch, crane, crawl, cropper, culbute, curl up, decumbency, deploy, disperse, dive, drape, expand, expansion, extend, extend out, extension, fall, fall down, fall flat, fall headlong, fall over, fall prostrate, fan, fan out, flare, flop, flounder, forced landing, get a cropper, go to bed, go to rest, grovel, header, lay, lie, lie around, lie down, lie flat, lie limply, lie prone, lie prostrate, list, loll, lounge, lounging, lurch, lying, meander, open, open up, outreach, outspread, outstretch, overgrow, overrun, pitch, plunge, pratfall, proneness, prostration, ramble, ramify, reach out, reclination, recline, reclining, recumbency, repose, rest, scramble, settle to rest, slouch, slump, snug down, spill, splay, spraddle, sprangle, spread, spread like wildfire, spread out, spread-eagle, stagger, stand on tiptoes, straddle, straggle, stretch, stretch out, stumble, supineness, take a fall, take a flop, take a header, take a pratfall, take a spill, take it easy, take life easy, tilt, topple, topple down, topple over, totter, trip, tumble, turn turtle, unfold, wander, widen
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