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 inches (23 cm).
a distance, amount, piece, etc., of this length or of some small extent:
a span of lace.
Civil Engineering, Architecture.
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.
Aeronautics. 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.
Mathematics. the smallest subspace of a vector space that contains a given element or set of elements.
verb (used with object), spanned, spanning.
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.
Mathematics. to function (in a subspace of a vector space) as a span.
Archery. to bend (the bow) in preparation for shooting.
a simple past tense of spin.
the interval, space, or distance between two points, such as the ends of a bridge or arch
the complete duration or extent: the span of his life
(psychol) the amount of material that can be processed in a single mental act: apprehension span, span of attention
short for wingspan
a unit of length based on the width of an expanded hand, usually taken as nine inches
verb (transitive) spans, spanning, spanned
to stretch or extend across, over, or around
to provide with something that extends across or around: to span a river with a bridge
to measure or cover, esp with the extended hand
a team of horses or oxen, esp two matched animals
(archaic or dialect) a past tense of spin
Small Publishers of North America
standard portfolio analysis of margin
see: spick and span
- Spanning tree algorithm
An IEEE 802.1 standard under consideration which will provide distributed routing over multiple LANs connected by bridges.
- Span of apprehension
noun 1. (psychol) the maximum number of objects that can be correctly assessed after a brief presentation
noun, Psychology. 1. attention span.
- Span of control
noun in business, the area of activity and number of duties and employees for which an individual or organization is responsible for; also, the number of employees that a manager can efficiently handle while improving effectiveness Examples The ratio of managers to workers is skewed and the span of control is off.