Definition of sprawl noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sprɔːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sprɔːl//
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  1. 1[countable, usually singular, uncountable] a large area covered with buildings that spreads from the city into the countryside in an ugly way attempts to control the fast-growing urban sprawl
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] an act of spreading to cover a large area in an untidy way; something that spreads like this
  3. Word OriginOld English spreawlian ‘move the limbs convulsively’; related to Danish sprælle ‘kick or splash about’. The noun dates from the early 18th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sprawl

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