Difference Between
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Broad vs. Wide: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"Broad" refers to having a great extent from side to side; "wide" specifically denotes a large distance or extent from one side to the other.
Broad vs. Wide

Key Differences

Broad is often used to describe something that has a considerable or extensive width. Wide specifically refers to the physical distance or expanse from one side to another.
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Dec 01, 2023
Broad can also imply generality or inclusiveness in non-physical contexts. Wide, in contrast, is typically used for physical measurements and spatial extents.
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The term broad is sometimes used figuratively to imply a wide range or diversity. Wide tends to remain more literal, describing the actual breadth of an object or space.
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In certain phrases, broad is used to convey a sense of expansiveness or comprehensiveness. Wide is more commonly paired with specific measurements or used in phrases that emphasize the physical aspect of width.
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Dec 01, 2023
Broad may also relate to abstract concepts, like a broad understanding. Wide, however, is mostly used to describe tangible, measurable distances or scopes.
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Comparison Chart

General Use

Describes extensive width or general inclusiveness
Refers to physical distance from side to side
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Contextual Application

Used both physically and metaphorically
Primarily used for physical measurements
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Figurative Use

Can denote a wide range or diversity
Less commonly used in a figurative sense
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Common Phrases

Broad spectrum, broad daylight
Wide range, wide-eyed
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Abstract Associations

Often associated with abstract concepts
Mostly associated with tangible extents
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Broad and Wide Definitions

Broad

Having great extent from side to side.
The river was broad and calm.
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Nov 22, 2023

Wide

Extending over a large area.
The plains stretched wide around them.
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Nov 22, 2023

Broad

Comprehensive in scope or content.
He had a broad knowledge of classical music.
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Nov 22, 2023

Wide

Having a specified extent from side to side
A ribbon two inches wide.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Clear and open.
The issue was discussed in broad daylight.
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Wide

Extending over a great distance from side to side; broad
A wide road.
A wide necktie.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Wide in extent from side to side
A broad river.
Broad shoulders.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having great extent or range; including much or many
A wide selection.
Granting wide powers.
Wide variations.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Large in expanse; spacious
A broad lawn.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Fully open or extended
Look with wide eyes.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Having a certain width from side to side
A sidewalk three feet broad.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

To the side of or at a distance from a given boundary, limit, or goal
A shot that was wide of the target.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Full; open
Broad daylight.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(Baseball) Outside.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Covering a wide scope; general
A broad rule.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(Sports) Being toward or near one of the side boundaries of a playing area, such as a sideline on a football field.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Liberal; tolerant
Had broad views regarding social services.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Deviating or straying from something expected or specified
A remark that was wide of the truth.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Relating to or covering the main facts or the essential points
A plan presented in broad outline.
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Wide

(Linguistics) Lax.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Plain and clear; obvious
Gave us a broad hint to leave.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Over a great distance; extensively
Traveled far and wide.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Vulgar; ribald
A broad joke.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

To the full extent; completely.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Strikingly regional or dialectal
A broad Southern accent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

To the side of or at a distance from a given boundary, limit, or goal.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(Linguistics) Pronounced with the tongue placed low and flat and with the oral cavity wide open, like the a in father.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(Sports) Toward or near one of the sides of a playing area
Ran wide to catch a pass.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A wide flat part, as of one's hand.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

A ball bowled outside of the batsman's reach, counting as a run for the batting team in cricket.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Offensive Slang A woman or girl.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having a large physical extent from side to side.
We walked down a wide corridor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Fully; completely.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Large in scope.
The inquiry had a wide remit.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Wide in extent or scope.
Three feet broad
The broad expanse of ocean
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(sports) Operating at the side of the playing area.
That team needs a decent wide player.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Extended, in the sense of diffused; open; clear; full.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

On one side or the other of the mark; too far sideways from the mark, the wicket, the batsman, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Having a large measure of any thing or quality; unlimited; unrestrained.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Made, as a vowel, with a less tense, and more open and relaxed, condition of the organs in the mouth.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Comprehensive; liberal; enlarged.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Vast, great in extent, extensive.
The wide, lifeless expanse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Plain; evident.
A broad hint
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(obsolete) Located some distance away; distant, far.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

General rather than specific.
To be in broad agreement
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(obsolete) Far from truth, propriety, necessity, etc.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(writing) Unsubtle; obvious.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(computing) Of or supporting a greater range of text characters than can fit into the traditional 8-bit representation.
A wide character; a wide stream
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Free; unrestrained; unconfined.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Antagonistic, provocative.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(dated) Gross; coarse; indelicate.
A broad compliment; a broad joke; broad humour
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Extensively
He travelled far and wide.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(of an accent) Strongly regional.
She still has a broad Scottish accent, despite moving to California 20 years ago.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Completely
He was wide awake.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(Gaelic languages) Velarized, i.e. not palatalized.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Away from or to one side of a given goal
The arrow fell wide of the mark.
A few shots were fired but they all went wide.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(UK) A shallow lake, one of a number of bodies of water in eastern Norfolk and Suffolk.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

So as to leave or have a great space between the sides; so as to form a large opening.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A lathe tool for turning down the insides and bottoms of cylinders.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(cricket) A ball that passes so far from the batsman that the umpire deems it unplayable; the arm signal used by an umpire to signal a wide; the extra run added to the batting side's score
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A British gold coin worth 20 shillings, issued by the Commonwealth of England in 1656.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having considerable distance or extent between the sides; spacious across; much extended in a direction at right angles to that of length; not narrow; broad; as, wide cloth; a wide table; a wide highway; a wide bed; a wide hall or entry.
The chambers and the stables weren wyde.
Wide is the gate . . . that leadeth to destruction.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A kind of floodlight.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having a great extent every way; extended; spacious; broad; vast; extensive; as, a wide plain; the wide ocean; a wide difference.
For sceptered cynics earth were far too wide a den.
When the wide bloom, on earth that lies,Seems of a brighter world than ours.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A playing card.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Of large scope; comprehensive; liberal; broad; as, wide views; a wide understanding.
Men of strongest head and widest culture.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(dated) A prostitute, a woman of loose morals.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Of a certain measure between the sides; measuring in a direction at right angles to that of length; as, a table three feet wide.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A woman or girl.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Remote; distant; far.
The contrary being so wide from the truth of Scripture and the attributes of God.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Wide; extend in breadth, or from side to side; - opposed to narrow; as, a broad street, a broad table; an inch broad.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Far from truth, from propriety, from necessity, or the like.
It is far wide that the people have such judgments.
How wide is all this long pretense !
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Extending far and wide; extensive; vast; as, the broad expanse of ocean.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

On one side or the other of the mark; too far side-wise from the mark, the wicket, the batsman, etc.
Surely he shoots wide on the bow hand.
I was but two bows wide.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Extended, in the sense of diffused; open; clear; full.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Made, as a vowel, with a less tense, and more open and relaxed, condition of the mouth organs; - opposed to primary as used by Mr. Bell, and to narrow as used by Mr. Sweet. The effect, as explained by Mr. Bell, is due to the relaxation or tension of the pharynx; as explained by Mr. Sweet and others, it is due to the action of the tongue. The wide of ē (ēve) is ĭ (ĭll); of ā (āte) is ĕ (ĕnd), etc. See Guide to Pronunciation, 13-15.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Fig.: Having a large measure of any thing or quality; not limited; not restrained; - applied to any subject, and retaining the literal idea more or less clearly, the precise meaning depending largely on the substantive.
A broad mixture of falsehood.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having or showing a wide difference between the highest and lowest price, amount of supply, etc.; as, a wide opening; wide prices, where the prices bid and asked differ by several points.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Comprehensive; liberal; enlarged.
The words in the Constitution are broad enough to include the case.
In a broad, statesmanlike, and masterly way.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

To a distance; far; widely; to a great distance or extent; as, his fame was spread wide.
[I] went wyde in this world, wonders to hear.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Plain; evident; as, a broad hint.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

So as to leave or have a great space between the sides; so as to form a large opening.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Free; unrestrained; unconfined.
As broad and general as the casing air.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

So as to be or strike far from, or on one side of, an object or purpose; aside; astray.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Characterized by breadth. See Breadth.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

That which is wide; wide space; width; extent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Cross; coarse; indelicate; as, a broad compliment; a broad joke; broad humor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

That which goes wide, or to one side of the mark.
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Strongly marked; as, a broad Scotch accent.
It is as broad as long, whether they rise to others, or bring others down to them.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having great (or a certain) extent from one side to the other;
Wide roads
A wide necktie
Wide margins
Three feet wide
A river two miles broad
Broad shoulders
A broad river
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

The broad part of anything; as, the broad of an oar.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Broad in scope or content;
Across-the-board pay increases
An all-embracing definition
Blanket sanctions against human-rights violators
An invention with broad applications
A panoptic study of Soviet nationality
Granted him wide powers
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

The spread of a river into a sheet of water; a flooded fen.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

(used of eyes) fully open or extended;
Listened in round-eyed wonder
Stared with wide eyes
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A lathe tool for turning down the insides and bottoms of cylinders.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Very large in expanse or scope;
A broad lawn
The wide plains
A spacious view
Spacious skies
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

A woman, especially one who is sexually promiscuous; - usually considered offensive.
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Great in degree;
Won by a wide margin
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Slang term for a woman;
A broad is a woman who can throw a mean punch
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Great in range or scope;
An extended vocabulary
Surgeons with extended experience
Extensive examples of picture writing
Suffered extensive damage
A wide selection
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Having great (or a certain) extent from one side to the other;
Wide roads
A wide necktie
Wide margins
Three feet wide
A river two miles broad
Broad shoulders
A broad river
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having ample fabric;
The current taste for wide trousers
A full skirt
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Broad in scope or content;
Across-the-board pay increases
An all-embracing definition
Blanket sanctions against human-rights violators
An invention with broad applications
A panoptic study of Soviet nationality
Granted him wide powers
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Not on target;
The kick was wide
The arrow was wide of the mark
A claim that was wide of the truth
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Not detailed or specific;
A broad rule
The broad outlines of the plan
Felt an unspecific dread
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

With or by a broad space;
Stand with legs wide apart
Ran wide around left end
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Lacking subtlety; obvious;
Gave us a broad hint that it was time to leave
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

To the fullest extent possible;
Open your eyes wide
With the throttle wide open
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Being at a peak or culminating point;
Broad day
Full summer
High noon
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Far from the intended target;
The arrow went wide of the mark
A bullet went astray and killed a bystander
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

Very large in expanse or scope;
A broad lawn
The wide plains
A spacious view
Spacious skies
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

To or over a great extent or range; far;
Wandered wide through many lands
He traveled widely
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Oct 19, 2023

Broad

(of speech) heavily and noticeably regional;
A broad southern accent
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Having a specified extent from side to side.
The door was wide enough to accommodate the large furniture.
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Nov 22, 2023

Broad

Showing or characterized by broad-mindedness;
A broad political stance
Generous and broad sympathies
A liberal newspaper
Tolerant of his opponent's opinions
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Oct 19, 2023

Wide

Fully open or extended.
Her eyes were wide with surprise.
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Nov 22, 2023

Broad

General and without detail.
She gave a broad overview of the project.
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Nov 22, 2023

Wide

Encompassing a large number or variety.
They offered a wide selection of books.
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Nov 22, 2023

Broad

Wide in range or diversity.
The museum offered a broad array of exhibits.
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Nov 22, 2023

Wide

Far from a point of reference.
He missed the target by a wide margin.
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Nov 22, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Does wide always mean large?

Yes, it usually implies a larger-than-average extent from side to side.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can wide be used in a non-physical context?

Rarely, as wide typically refers to physical dimensions.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can wide describe a gap or space?

Yes, especially to indicate its physical extent.
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Dec 01, 2023

Is broad used for non-physical traits?

Yes, broad can describe non-physical traits like a broad perspective.
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Dec 01, 2023

What does a broad approach mean?

It means considering a wide range of factors or perspectives.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can broad be used to describe diversity?

Yes, it can describe a wide range or variety in concepts or items.
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Dec 01, 2023

Is wide used in expressions?

Yes, such as 'wide range' or 'wide array'.
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Dec 01, 2023

Does broad have a synonym?

Expansive or extensive can be synonyms for broad.
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Dec 01, 2023

Is wide used in sports?

Yes, like in cricket to describe a ball bowled too far from the batsman.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can wide refer to a measurement?

Yes, wide often refers to specific spatial measurements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can broad be used in art?

Yes, to describe expansive strokes or a wide range of styles.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

What does wide-eyed mean?

It means having the eyes fully open, often due to surprise or awe.
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Dec 01, 2023

Is broad a technical term?

Not typically; it's more often used in general or figurative language.
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Dec 01, 2023

What does a broad smile mean?

It refers to a wide and generous smile.
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Dec 01, 2023

What does 'worldwide' imply?

It implies extending or reaching throughout the world.
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Dec 01, 2023

What is a broad statement?

It's a general statement without specific details.
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Dec 01, 2023

What does broad daylight imply?

It implies something done openly, without hiding.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can wide be used in navigation?

Yes, to describe the breadth of a passage or channel.
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Dec 01, 2023

Does broad apply to opinions?

Yes, it can describe a wide-ranging or general opinion.
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Dec 01, 2023

Does wide have a literal and figurative use?

It's mostly literal, but can occasionally be figurative.
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Dec 01, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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December 25, 2023
A Poster is a large printed image or notice for public display, while an Infographic is a visual representation of information or data.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
Pulley vs. SheavePulley vs. Sheave
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 4, 2024
A pulley is a wheel on an axle designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, while a sheave is the wheel part of a pulley system that specifically interacts with the cable.
LTE vs. CDMALTE vs. CDMA
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a 4G wireless communication standard with high-speed data transfer, while CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is an older 2G/3G technology for mobile networks.
Nike Air Force 1 LE vs. Nike Air Force 1 '07Nike Air Force 1 LE vs. Nike Air Force 1 ’07
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 16, 2024
Nike Air Force 1 LE often represents limited edition releases with unique designs, while Nike Air Force 1 '07 is a modern version of the classic, maintaining the iconic style with updated materials.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.
Formal Assessment vs. Informal AssessmentFormal Assessment vs. Informal Assessment
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Formal assessments are structured and standardized, while informal assessments are flexible and observational.
Goth vs. AltGoth vs. Alt
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 5, 2024
Goth is a dark, often Victorian-influenced subculture and style, while Alt (alternative) is a broader term encompassing non-mainstream styles and attitudes.
House of Representatives vs. SenateHouse of Representatives vs. Senate
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
The House of Representatives, based on population, drafts tax legislation and impeachment charges, while the Senate, with equal representation per state, tries impeachments and ratifies treaties.
Moms vs. Mom'sMoms vs. Mom’s
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 22, 2024
"Moms" is the plural form of "mom," referring to multiple mothers, while "Mom's" is the possessive form of "mom," indicating something belongs to or is related to a mother.
Shall vs. Shall beShall vs. Shall be
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 14, 2024
"Shall" is a modal verb used to indicate future action or a strong intention, while "shall be" is its future tense form, often implying a sense of obligation or inevitability.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
Happen vs. OccurHappen vs. Occur
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Happen" refers to events or actions taking place, often with an unplanned or casual connotation, while "occur" implies events or phenomena that take place, often with a more formal or scientific tone.
Cache Memory vs. Main MemoryCache Memory vs. Main Memory
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
May 18, 2024
Cache memory is a fast, volatile memory for quick access to frequently used data, enhancing processor speed. Main memory (RAM) is a larger, slower volatile memory for currently used data and programs.
CeraVe vs. LubridermCeraVe vs. Lubriderm
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 8, 2024
CeraVe and Lubriderm are both skincare brands; CeraVe focuses on ceramide-rich formulas, while Lubriderm is known for its basic, gentle moisturizers.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
FHSS vs. DSSSFHSS vs. DSSS
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 25, 2024
FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) uses rapid frequency changes within a band. DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum) spreads signals over a wider frequency using a code.
Contact Force vs. Field ForceContact Force vs. Field Force
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Contact Force is a force applied through physical contact, while Field Force acts over a distance without physical contact.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Term vs. SemesterTerm vs. Semester
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Term is a general period for any division of the academic year, while Semester specifically refers to half of an academic year.
2chan vs. 4chan2chan vs. 4chan
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 1, 2024
2chan is a Japanese imageboard primarily for sharing images and discussion. 4chan is an English-language imageboard with a diverse range of topics and more international user base.
Positivism vs. Post-PositivismPositivism vs. Post-Positivism
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
May 26, 2024
Positivism emphasizes observable, empirical evidence and the scientific method, while post-positivism recognizes the limitations of pure objectivity and incorporates subjective perspectives.
Interviewer vs. IntervieweeInterviewer vs. Interviewee
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
The interviewer conducts the interview, asking questions and guiding the conversation, while the interviewee is the one responding and being evaluated.

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