Intermediate+ Word of the day: wide

wide (adjective, adverb) /waɪd/ LISTEN

Modern TVs are much wider than the almost square TVs of the 1990s.

As an adjective, wide means ‘large, of great size from side to side’ and ‘of great scope.’ It also refers to something that has a specific dimension from side to side. It means ‘fully opened,’ in reference to eyes. In baseball, wide means ‘outside.’ As an adverb, wide means ‘fully’ or ‘to the full extent of opening’. It also means ‘away from the point’ and ‘over a great extent’ (normally in the slightly formal and dated expression far and wide) and ‘to a great extent from one side to the other.’

Example sentence

  • A wide expanse of forest stretched out before the explorers.
  • The candy store has a wide selection of chocolates.
  • The box is 30 centimeters wide.
  • The little boy's eyes were wide with surprise when he saw his presents.
  • The vet used an instrument to hold the horse's mouth wide open so she could examine it.
  • The ball went wide and missed the strike zone completely.
  • The princess searched far and wide but couldn't find the wizard anywhere.
  • The two trees are wide apart and on opposite sides of the field.

Additional information

In cricket, wide is also a noun that means ‘a bowled ball that goes wide of the wicket and counts as a run for the side batting.’

Did you know?

Wide can also be used as a suffix to mean that something extends or applies throughout a specified space. For example, if you say, “It is a nationwide epidemic,” that means the epidemic affects all parts of the country you are talking about. If you say, “That actor is really famous; she is known worldwide,” that means people know who she is all over the world.

In pop culture

Listen to Katy Perry singing “Wide Awake” here:

Other forms

width (noun), wideness (noun), widely (adverb)


Wide appeared in Old English before the year 900, as wīd, meaning ‘broad, vast, long.’ It remained the same in Middle English, and only the spelling changed to wide in modern English. It is related to the Dutch word wijd, the German word weit, and the Old Norse word vīthr, all with roughly the same meaning.

Wide was suggested by Julia, from United Kingdom
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