Definition of broad adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; brɔːd
broader, broadest


1 widea broad street/avenue/riverbroad shouldersHe is tall, broad and muscular.a broad smile/grin(= one in which your mouth is stretched very wide because you are very pleased or amused)
narrow (1)
2 used after a measurement of distance to show how wide something istwo metres broad and one metre high

wide range

3 including a great variety of people or thingsa broad range of productsa broad spectrum of interestsThere is broad support for the government's policies.She took a broad view of the duties of being a teacher (= she believed her duties included a wide range of things).a broad and balanced curriculumWe must ensure the project is of advantage to the broader community and does not just benefit a few individuals.


4 [only before noun] general; not detailedthe broad outline of a proposalThe negotiators were in broad agreement on the main issues.She's a feminist, in the broadest sense of the word.In broad terms, the paper argues that each country should develop its own policy.Computer viruses fall into three broad categories.


5 covering a wide areaa broad expanse of waterthe broad plains of the American West


6 if somebody has a broad accent, you can hear very easily which area they come from
a broad Yorkshire accent


7 if somebody gives a broad hint, they make it very clear what they are thinking or what they want


8 (North American English) dealing with sex in an amusing wayThe movie mixes broad humor with romance.

a broad church

(British English) an organization that accepts a wide range of opinions
big tent
The party aims to be a broad church with members from all sections of society.

(in) broad daylight

(in) the clear light of day, when it is easy to see
The robbery occurred in broad daylight, in a crowded street.

it's as broad as it's long

(British English, informal) it makes no real difference which of two possible choices you make
more at paint something with a broad brush at paint v.Usage noteUsage note: wide / broadThese adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns:
wide ~broad ~
Wide is the word most commonly used to talk about something that measures a long distance from one side to the other. Broad is more often used to talk about parts of the body. (Although wide can be used with mouth.) It is used in more formal or written language to describe the features of the countryside, etc:a broad river a broad stretch of meadowland.Both wide and broad can be used to describe something that includes a large variety of different people or things:a wide/broad range of products. Broad, but not wide, can be used to mean ‘general’ or ‘not detailed’:All of us are in broad agreement on this matter.