Expand Synonym Guide — Definition, Antonyms & Examples

Synonyms add depth and richness to your writing and allow you to avoid repetition. They also add variety to your piece. The word ‘expand’ means to change from a smaller form or size to a bigger one. A synonym for expand is ‘broaden.’

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    Other words with similar meanings to ‘expand’ will be explored in this comprehensive yet concise guide.

    The Definition of Expand

    Expand originates from Anglo-Norman espaundre and Latin expandere – present active infinitive of expandō, itself from ex- (“out, outwards”) + pandō. ‘Expand’ is an action word with the following forms: simple present – expands, present participle – expanding, simple past, and past participle – expanded. To expand means:

    • To experience a change in size from a smaller to a larger one. Please expand the carpet to cover the room.
    • To express (something) at length and in detail, i.e., Thompson expanded on his plans for his education.

    Sentence Examples

    • Over the last few decades, Jerry has been expanding his empire.
    • The General hopes to expand the army and add more soldiers.
    • Could you please expand the balloon?
    • The company will need to expand in the next two months.
    • We began to expand our company, but the local authorities thwarted our efforts.
    • To date, we have expanded our services to twelve countries.
    • My grocery store has begun to expand into neighboring states.
    • I must expand my knowledge on the topic of chemistry.
    • We want to expand our restaurant’s hours, but that will be pretty expensive.
    • The company is planning to expand its reach into Europe.

    Synonym for Expand — Exploring words with Similar Meanings

    The dictionary defines expand as “to increase in extent, to grow.” Synonyms include broaden, increase, extend, unfold, develop, distend, and amplify. Other terms related to expand include, augment, boost, rise, blow up, blow, swell, inflate, stretch, dilate, and puff. Let’s explore some of these synonyms.

    1. Spread Out

    Spread is from Proto-Germanic spreit. To spread out is to move away, put in a wide area, or become further apart.

    • We need to clear the new land to spread out operations.
    • The police spread out across the field.

    2. Enlarge

    Enlarge is a synonym for expand. The word is derived from Old French enlargier, enlargir. Enlarge means making something bigger and increasing the capacity or scope of something.

    • The Director has decided to enlarge the company.
    • Our company needs to enlarge its social media presence.

    3. Elaborate

    The term is from Late Latin ēlabōrātus (“worked out”), past participle of ēlabōrō (“to work out”), from ē- (“out, forth, fully”) + labor (“work, toil, exertion”). The term implies “to expand in detail or state explicitly.”

    • Could you please elaborate on the last point you made?
    • My supervisor asked that I elaborate on the topic of my research.

    4. Broaden

    Broaden is from broad +‎ -en (verbal suffix). The word originates from Old English brad “wide, not narrow,” also “flat, open, extended.” Its origin can also be traced to Proto-Germanic *braidi. ‘en’ is a word-forming element making verbs from adjectives or nouns. To broaden means to become more expansive.

    • The government decided to broaden the road to accommodate more cars.
    • As the marketing team of this company, we need to broaden our research and development efforts.

    5. Increase

    Increase originates from Anglo-Norman encreistre and Latin increscere (“increase”). ‘Increase’ means “to grow or become greater or larger.”

    • There’s been a massive increase in crime in society over the last decade.
    • The company recorded a 20% increase in sales after the advertisement.

    Antonyms for Expand — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

    1. Scale down

    Scale down is a phrasal verb of scale. The phrase means “to reduce the size or number of something.”

    • The police team scaled down their search to five neighboring communities.
    • We need to scale down the project due to a shortage of funds.

    2. Shrink

    The word ‘shink’ originates from Old English sċrincan, and Proto-Germanic *skrinkwaną. To shink means “to make smaller.”

    • My son had to shrink his leg brace to fit in the stocking.
    • Johnny had to shink his body to fit into his new wears.

    3. Condense

    ‘Condense’ was borrowed from Middle French condenser, and Latin condensare. ‘Condense’ means making something compact, dense, or close, decreasing in form or volume.

    • Please condense this down into a few letters.
    • I condensed the history of Grace’s life into a two-page memo.
    fountain pen and white spiral book on brown table
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    To Wrap Up

    Expand is an English word that means “to become larger or more extensive.” A synonym for expand is ‘spread out.’ Other words with similar meanings are: enlarge, broaden, increase, unfold, and swell. A thesaurus is ideal for learning more synonyms of the term.

    The opposites for the word ‘expand’ include “scale down,” “shrink,” and “condense.” Now that you know the synonyms and antonyms for the word, you can use one that suits your context!

    Expand Synonym Guide — Definition, Antonyms & Examples

    Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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