span


span
{{11}}span (n.1) "distance between two objects," O.E. span "distance between the thumb and little finger of an extended hand," probably related to M.Du. spannen "to join, fasten" (see SPAN (Cf. span) (n.2)).
The Germanic word was borrowed into Medieval Latin as spannus, hence It. spanna, O.Fr. espanne, Fr. empan. As a measure of length, roughly nine inches. Meaning "length of time" first attested 1590s; that of "space between abutments of an arch, etc." is from 1725. Meaning "maximum lateral dimension of an aircraft" is first recorded 1909. Attention span is recorded from 1922.
{{12}}span (n.2) "two animals driven together," 1769, from Du. span, from spannen "to stretch or yoke," from M.Du. spannen, cognate with O.E. spannen "to join" (see SPAN (Cf. span) (v.)).
{{12}}span (v.) O.E. spannen "to clasp, fasten, stretch, span," from P.Gmc. *spanwanan (Cf. O.N. spenna, O.Fris. spanna, M.Du. spannen, O.H.G. spannan, Ger. spannen), from PIE root * (s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin" (Cf. L. pendere "to hang, to cause to hang," pondus "weight" (the weight of a thing measured by how much it stretches a cord), pensare "to weigh, consider;" Gk. ponein "to toil;" Lith. spendziu "lay a snare;" O.C.S. peti "stretch, strain," pato "fetter," pina "I span;" O.E. spinnan "to spin;" for other cognates, see SPIN (Cf. spin)). The meaning "to encircle with the hand(s)" is from 1781; in the sense of "to form an arch over (something)" it is first recorded 1630s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Span — Span, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp[ o]nn. [root]170. See {Span}, v. t. ] 1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Span — may refer to length or space:* span (length), the width of a human hand * span (architecture) ** For powerlines, the distance between two pylons ** For aerial tramways, the distance between two supporting structures ** For a bridge, the distance… …   Wikipedia

  • span — span1 [span] n. [ME spanne < OE sponn, akin to Ger spanne < IE * (s)pen(d) , to pull, draw (> SPIN, Gr span, to pull) < base * spe , to pull, extend] 1. a unit of linear measure equal to nine inches, based on the distance between the… …   English World dictionary

  • Span — steht für: ein mechanisch abgetrenntes Werkstoffteilchen, aus Metall, siehe Metallspan. aus Holz, siehe Holzspan. eine Schweizer Mundartband, siehe Span (schweizerische Band) eine norwegische Musikgruppe, siehe Span (norwegische Band) ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Span — Sm std. (9. Jh.), mhd. spān, ahd. spān, mndd. spān, mndl. spaen Stammwort. Aus g. * spǣnu m. Span , auch in anord. spánn, ae. spōn m./f., afr. spon. Herkunft unklar. Es gibt eine Reihe von Wörtern mit der Bedeutung Span , die ig. * sphē /sphə und …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Span — Span: Das altgerm. Wort mhd., ahd. spān »‹Holz›span«, niederl. spaan »Span; Butterstecher; Ruderblatt«, engl. spoon »Löffel«, schwed. spån »Span; Schindel« bezeichnete ursprünglich ein flaches, lang abgespaltenes Holzstück, wie es bei der… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • spân — SPÂN, Ă, spâni, e, adj. Căruia nu i creşte (aproape) deloc barbă şi mustaţă. Faţă spână. Om spân. ♢ (Substantivat, m.) Spânul vrea sa ţi răpuie capul (CREANGĂ). – lat. *spanus (< gr.). Trimis de Zavaidoc, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DLRM  SPÂN, Ă,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Span — Span, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spanned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spanning}.] [AS. pannan; akin to D. & G. spannen, OHG. spannan, Sw. sp[ a]nna, Dan. sp[ae]nde, Icel. spenna, and perh. to Gr. ? to draw, to drag, L. spatium space. [root]170. Cf. {Spin}, v. t …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • span|dy — «SPAN dee», adjective, adverb. –adj. Especially U.S. Informal. very good or fine; smart: »My silk stockings and two pairs of spandy gloves are my comfort (Louisa May Alcott). –adv. wholly; perfectly: »a spandy new suit. ╂[probably variant of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • spån — sb., en, er, erne, i sms. spån , fx spånstrøelse, spånæske; gå i spåner …   Dansk ordbog

  • Span — Span, v. i. To be matched, as horses. [U. S.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.