Meaning of span
— n., v., spanned, span•ning.
- the distance between the tip of the thumb and the tip of the little finger when the hand is fully extended.
- a unit of length corresponding to this distance, commonly taken as 9 in. (23 cm).
- a distance, amount, piece, etc., of this length or of some small extent: a span of lace.
- the distance between two supports of a structure.
- the structure so supported.
- the distance or space between two supports of a bridge.
- the full extent, stretch, or reach of anything: a long span of memory.
- the distance between the wing tips of an airplane.
- a limited space of time, as the term or period of living: Our span on earth is short.
- the smallest subspace of a vector space that contains a given element or set of elements.
- to measure by the hand with the thumb and little finger extended.
- to encircle with the hand or hands, as the waist.
- to extend over or across (a section of land, a river, etc.).
- to provide with something that extends over: to span a river with a bridge.
- to extend or reach over (space or time): a memory that spans 90 years.
- to function (in a subspace of a vector space) as a span.
- to bend (the bow) in preparation for shooting.
- a pair of horses or other animals harnessed and driven together.
— v. Archaic.
- a pt. of
- span (Thesaurus)