Adjective "sprawling" definition and examples

(Sprawling may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


Sit, lie, or fall with one's arms and legs spread out in an ungainly way.
  1. 'she lay sprawled on the bed'
  2. 'It collapses beneath her weight and she sprawls lifelessly to the floor.'
  3. 'Lenny sprawls on a couch, cigarette and scotch close to hand, while Rorem plays through some obscure songs by Paul Bowles.'
  4. 'The brothers sprawled in the annihilating heat under the trees.'
  5. 'Mel sprawls off the bed and onto the floor, staring up at me with an expression that says she's hurt, betrayed, and disappointed.'
  6. 'Morvern Callar begins with a young woman waking up to find her lover dead, sprawled on the kitchen floor.'
  7. 'To the reader comfortably sprawled before a good fire it may seem a little stagey, as if he was speaking for effect.'
  8. 'The camera drops to the ground, and the cameraman sprawls out onto the ground, blown a few feet backwards.'
  9. 'A second corpse already lay sprawled at the policeman's boots.'
  10. 'I was standing in a forklift with Mark looking down over Mimi sprawled with her face in the snow.'
  11. 'the sprawling suburbs'
  12. 'The transparency of the building is intended to change perception of the judicial process; and as a grand civic space, the atrium is significant in a city of sprawling suburbs.'
  13. 'Despite the new and uniform sandstone buildings that sprawl outward, arriving in old Aleppo felt magical.'
  14. 'At the museum, the sprawling exhibition claimed large parts of two floors and spilled into the permanent collection elsewhere in the building.'
  15. 'As urban areas sprawl into traditionally rural, agricultural areas, land uses are becoming major, sometimes pivotal community issues.'
  16. 'Oslo is a vast city, sprawling up the sides of its bowl from the old Danish centre into the hills and forests of a gentle, though still sometimes almost sublime landscape.'
  17. 'I recently moved from a small Midwestern college town to a sprawling Southern metropolis.'
  18. 'Marnee opened her school in an expanding part of this sprawling town of 91,000 in a building under a looming water tower.'
  19. 'One of the most exclusive properties on the market in Aspen at present is the Elk Run Ranch, which sprawls over 77 acres.'
  20. 'They are a strange family indeed; living in a sprawling house in the greater area of Maine, this family is busting at the seams with not only children, but also every animal under the sun.'
  21. 'Claiming that Sarah Ferguson comes from Basingstoke is pushing it: she grew up on the 876-acre family farm at Dummer, safely south of the M3, gentility's bulwark against the town which sprawls along the motorway's north side.'


An ungainly or carelessly relaxed position in which one's arms and legs are spread out.
  1. 'a sprawl of buildings'
  2. 'They hurl themselves around in hedonistic spasms, a gangly sprawl of boots, limbs and hair, clad in more skin-tight black than a roomful of rock hacks.'
  3. 'The major inheritance of the Community Councils was vast sprawls of low-quality township housing; rents were a major source of income.'
  4. 'The designer goods are in there, but they must be ferreted out of mass quantities stacked on undifferentiated shelves in an encompassing sprawl.'
  5. 'Yet it has familiar urban problems - overcrowding, pollution, rotting heritage, tottering transport, suburban sprawl.'
  6. 'The homogenous and sparse population was replaced by the restless diversity, sprawl and cacophony of one of the fastest growing places in America.'
  7. 'Compacting urban functions makes the cities more vibrant and protects the outlying areas from sprawl.'
  8. 'This is not a radical idea, but only seems so in a country single-mindedly dedicated to replicating the economically convenient tropes of suburban sprawl.'
  9. 'Urban sprawl and chaos create many planning problems.'
  10. 'Because most of the Intervale lies within the floodplain of the Winooski River, the land here is protected from the usual pressures of suburban sprawl.'
  11. 'They outlined the regional planning model known as the ‘Transect Concept,’ which sets a pattern for ‘smart growth’ without suburban sprawl.'
  12. 'Urban sprawl has been a fact of life for Southern California growers and their cooperatives since the 1950s.'
  13. 'Its characters were real, its snapshot of ridiculous suburban sprawl was very real, its depiction of family togetherness, though exaggerated for dramatic effect, was also very real.'
  14. 'Microsoft's ‘Spaces’ brings the concept of incipient suburban sprawl to the blogisphere.'

More definitions

1. to be stretched or spread out in an unnatural or ungraceful manner: The puppy's legs sprawled in all directions.

2. to sit or lie in a relaxed position with the limbs spread out carelessly or ungracefully: He sprawled across the bed.

3. to spread out, extend, or be distributed in a straggling or irregular manner, as vines, buildings, handwriting, etc.

4. to crawl awkwardly with the aid of all the limbs; scramble. verb (used with object)

5. to stretch

More examples(as adjective)

"nations can be sprawling."

"cities can be sprawling."

"countries can be sprawling."

"camps can be sprawling."

"complexes can be sprawling."

More examples++


(sprawl)Old English spreawlian ‘move the limbs convulsively’; related to Danish sprælle ‘kick or splash about’. The noun dates from the early 18th century.