Definition of span verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    span

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//spæn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spæn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they span
    BrE BrE//spæn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spæn//
     
    he / she / it spans
    BrE BrE//spænz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spænz//
     
    past simple spanned
    BrE BrE//spænd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spænd//
     
    past participle spanned
    BrE BrE//spænd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spænd//
     
    -ing form spanning
    BrE BrE//ˈspænɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspænɪŋ//
     
    Structures, Architectural features
     
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  1. 1span something to last all through a period of time or to cover the whole of it His acting career spanned 55 years. Family photos spanning five generations were stolen.
  2. 2span something to include a large area or a lot of things The operation, which spanned nine countries, resulted in 200 arrests. His experience spanned not merely politics, but also business and journalism.
  3. 3span something to stretch right across something, from one side to the other synonym cross a series of bridges spanning the river The roof was spanned by curved ribs of steel. See related entries: Structures, Architectural features
  4. Word Origin Old English, ‘distance between the tips of the thumb and little finger’, of Germanic origin; reinforced in Middle English by Old French espan.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: span