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



    BrE BrE//brɔːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//brɔːd//
    (broader, broadest) Language skills
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  1. 1  wide a broad street/avenue/river broad shoulders He 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) opposite narrow
  2. 2used after a measurement of distance to show how wide something is two metres broad and one metre high
  3. wide range
  4. 3including a great variety of people or things a broad range of products a broad spectrum of interests There 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 curriculum We must ensure the project is of advantage to the broader community and does not just benefit a few individuals. opposite narrow
  5. general
  6. 4  [only before noun] general; not detailed the broad outline of a proposal The 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.
  7. land/water
  8. 5  covering a wide area a broad expanse of water the broad plains of the American West
  9. accent
  10. 6if somebody has a broad accent, you can hear very easily which area they come from synonym strong a broad Yorkshire accent See related entries: Language skills
  11. hint
  12. 7if somebody gives a broad hint, they make it very clear what they are thinking or what they want
  13. humour
  14. 8(North American English) dealing with sex in an amusing way The movie mixes broad humor with romance.
  15. Word OriginOld English brād, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch breed and German breit. Which Word?wide / broadThese adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns: wide street/​river/​area/​range/​variety/​choice broad shoulders/​back/​smile/​range/​agreement/​outline 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.Word Familybroad adjectivebroadly adverbbroaden verbbreadth nounExtra examples He questioned whether the school curriculum was broad enough in scope. His job gave him an acquaintance with an unusually broad spectrum of society. ‘Mental handicap’ should be replaced with the broader concept of ‘learning difficulties’. Before dealing with specific cases she spoke on the broad topic of ‘discipline’. Having children gave her a broader outlook on life. He turned to me with a broad smile. He was gorgeous—broad shoulders and twinkling eyes. He’s got broad shoulders. In broad terms the paper argues that each country should develop its own policy. She took a broad view of the duties of being a teacher. She’s a feminist, in the broadest sense of the word. The committee put forward broad recommendations for the improvement of safety at sports grounds. The course caters for a broad spectrum of interests. The novel is about education in its broadest sense. The proposals have been given a broad welcome by green campaigners. The wardrobe stands at one metre broad and two metres high. There is broad support amongst clients for the new initiative. There is broad support for the government’s policies. We discussed the broader implications of the plan. We drove down a broad avenue lined with trees. We have devised a broad and balanced curriculum. We must ensure the project is of advantage to the broader community and does not just benefit a few individuals. a broad aim/​objective a broad back/​chest/​face/​forehead a broad category/​area a broad curriculum a broad definition/​sense/​outline broad experience/​knowledge to attract broad support to have a broad appealIdioms (British English) an organization that accepts a wide range of opinions synonym big tent The party aims to be a broad church with members from all sections of society. (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
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    (British English, informal) it makes no real difference which of two possible choices you make
    paint something with a broad brush
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    to describe something in a general way, ignoring the details
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: broad