Word of the Day: space

Word of the Day
August 16, 2016
space (noun, verb, adjective)
/speɪs/  sound icon
A space is an area of a particular size or used for a particular purpose. More generally, it is the three-dimensional area where objects are located, or what lies beyond the Earth's atmosphere. It is also a blank area in a text, such as those between the words. Space is also used to talk about someone's freedom to be herself. As a verb, to space means 'to put something at a distance from another thing' or 'to insert blanks in texts.' As an adjective, it refers to anything related to outer space and the solar system.


Example sentences
We're moving to a bigger house because we need more space now that the kids are getting older.
This space will be perfect for our wedding reception!
We all exist in time and space.
Astronauts train for years before getting the opportunity to go into space.
People used to leave two spaces after a period in typed documents, but that is considered old-fashioned now and you can leave just one.
Tom's wife left him, saying she needed space.
You need to space your tomato plants about 18 inches apart.
Space exploration became possible only in the 20th century.


Words often used with space
outer space: what lies beyond the Earth's atmosphere. Example: "Some people think crop circles are caused by visitors from outer space."
Additional information
When someone has been taking drugs, you can say they are spacing out or spaced out. Informally, you can also call someone spaced out or spacey if they are behaving oddly, as though they have taken drugs. The very common verb space out can also refer to when someone stops paying attention. ("Can you repeat that? I spaced out for a few minutes.") This usage is also informal.
Did you know?
Personal space is the bubble around each person that other people should not enter, according to social norms. Everyone, no matter where they were born, has a strong sense of personal space, and feels uncomfortable when others “invade” it, but that bubble is different in every country, so often we can make others feel uncomfortable without even realizing it. Of course, this does not mean people never come close. In the US and the UK, for example, people greet others (unless their family) with a handshake or just by saying "Hi," and stand at a certain distance. In European and Latin American countries, on the other hand, people often say hello with a kiss or a hug, but then move back apart.
The extent of personal space also changes depending on where you are. For example, if you are sitting on a crowded bus, you can't expect to have that much personal space, but you can expect for the person sitting next to you to try not to touch you if possible. On a relatively empty beach, it would be very strange to sit right next to another group of people; this would be considered invading their personal space. The most important thing to remember when we are in a different country is to be aware of personal space. We can figure out how close to come, and when to do so, by looking at what others do.
Space has rots in the Latin noun spatium (meaning 'space'), but it came into English through the Old French word espace. It was first used in Middle English (with the spelling we still use to this day) in the late 13th century. The verb was first used in the mid-16th century, and the adjective soon after, around the year 1600. Of course, all the meanings related to outer space came much later, but not as late as you may think. We were thinking about exploring the universe well before we actually started to do it, and this meaning first appeared in science fiction in 1894.
Space in other languages
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