The, (used with a plural verb) a low-lying region in E England, in Norfolk and Suffolk: bogs and marshy lakes.
of great breadth:
The river was too broad to swim across.
measured from side to side:
The desk was three feet broad.
of great extent; large:
the broad expanse of ocean.
widely diffused; open; full:
We awoke to broad daylight.
not limited or narrow; of extensive range or scope:
A modern doctor must have a broad knowledge of medicine.
liberal; tolerant:
A broad interpretation of the law tempers justice with mercy.
main or general:
the broad outlines of a subject.
plain or clear:
Her remark was a broad hint of her feelings.
bold; plain-spoken.
indelicate; indecent:
He smirked at the broad joke.
(of conversation) rough; countrified.
unconfined; free; unrestrained:
It was a hilarious evening of broad mirth.
(of pronunciation) strongly dialectal:
He wore kilts and had a broad Scots accent.
Phonetics. (of a transcription) using one basic symbol to represent each phoneme.
broad a, the a- sound
[ah] /ɑ/ (Show IPA) when used in lieu of the more common a- sound
[a] /æ/ (Show IPA) in such words as half, can’t, and laugh.
He was broad awake.
the broad part of anything.

Usually Offensive. a term used to refer to a woman.
a promiscuous woman.

Often, broads. Movies, Television. an incandescent or fluorescent lamp used as a general source of light in a studio.
a gold coin of England and Scotland, issued by James I and Charles I and equal to 20 shillings.
Compare carolus, jacobus.
broad on the beam, Nautical. bearing 90° to the heading of a vessel.
broad on the bow, Nautical. bearing 45° to the heading of a vessel.
broad on the quarter, Nautical. bearing 135° to the heading of a vessel.
Historical Examples

Yachting Vol. 2 Various.
Sporting Society, Vol. I (of 2) Various
Notes and Letters on the Natural History of Norfolk Thomas Browne
Yachting Vol. 2 Various.
Yachting Vol. 2 Various.
The Handbook to the Rivers and Broads of Norfolk & Suffolk G. Christopher Davies
Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, August 15, 1891 Various
Armadale Wilkie Collins
Dartmoor Arthur L. Salmon
Armadale Wilkie Collins

plural noun the Broads
a group of shallow navigable lakes, connected by a network of rivers, in E England, in Norfolk and Suffolk
the region around these lakes: a tourist centre; several bird sanctuaries
having relatively great breadth or width
of vast extent; spacious: a broad plain
(postpositive) from one side to the other: four miles broad
of great scope or potential: that invention had broad applications
not detailed; general: broad plans
clear and open; full (esp in the phrase broad daylight)
obvious or plain: broad hints
liberal; tolerant: a broad political stance
widely spread; extensive: broad support
outspoken or bold: a broad manner
vulgar; coarse; indecent: a broad joke
unrestrained; free: broad laughter
(of a dialect or pronunciation) consisting of a large number of speech sounds characteristic of a particular geographical area: a broad Yorkshire accent
(finance) denoting an assessment of liquidity as including notes and coin in circulation with the public, banks’ till money and balances, most private-sector bank deposits, and sterling bank-deposit certificates: broad money Compare narrow (sense 7)

of or relating to a type of pronunciation transcription in which symbols correspond approximately to phonemes without taking account of allophonic variations
broad a, the long vowel in English words such as father, half, as represented in the received pronunciation of Southern British English

as broad as it is long, amounting to the same thing; without advantage either way
the broad part of something
(slang, mainly US & Canadian)

a girl or woman
a prostitute

(Brit, dialect) a river spreading over a lowland See also Broads
(East Anglian, dialect) a shallow lake
a wood-turning tool used for shaping the insides and bottoms of cylinders
widely or fully: broad awake

A woman •Used almost entirely by men and considered offensive by many women: Sorry lady, no broads allowed in here/ So here was this suburban broad
A promiscuous woman; prostitute

broad daylight
broad in the beam
broad shoulders, have


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