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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
span
I.
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a bridge spans sth (=crosses a wide area)
▪ By 1875 a railroad bridge spanned the Missouri.
a concentration span (=the length of time that you are able to concentrate)
▪ Young children have a short concentration span.
attention span
▪ Children often have a short attention span.
short attention span
▪ Children often have a short attention span.
spick and span
time span
▪ It’s difficult to imagine a time span of a million years.
II.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
long
▪ Development of all major new weapons programmes would nevertheless continue but over a longer time span.
▪ With a longer life span, a lot of people are just becoming too frail to take care of themselves.
▪ We shall not make any comments about this until we have had a chance to inspect a longer time span.
▪ That is a comparatively recent idea in the long span of history.
▪ Any investigation which covers a long span of time is bound to encounter certain special problems.
▪ This survey provides a particularly rich source of data because of the long time span covered.
short
▪ Then, for the second time in the short span that she had known the man, her mouth fell open.
▪ The shorter the span, the smaller lumber you can use.
▪ On the drive to Pelham Woods Rachel realised just how short the concentration span was of some members of the group.
▪ What exciting, fulfilling, profitable things do I want to do during my short span on planet Earth?
▪ Anencephalus, for example, has no life expectancy beyond a few weeks, and even this short life span is rare.
▪ Organisation One of the problems often associated with working with young children is their apparently short concentration span.
▪ A busy man, Johnny Cash, with a notoriously short attention span.
▪ Unfortunately fish, like us all, do not live for ever, and some have shorter live spans than others.
wide
▪ They don't have a very wide span of vision either, and they have no sense of perspective.
■ NOUN
attention
▪ Try to increase your attention span and extend the length of time over which you can work effectively.
▪ Dear Kidsday: My attention span in school is very, very short.
▪ It increases our attention span. 2.
▪ And for those whose attention spans are trained to a short leash, it may be just the ticket.
▪ A busy man, Johnny Cash, with a notoriously short attention span.
▪ Given current attention spans, it may as well have come out during the Pleistocene.
▪ Most puppies have a rather limited attention span, such is their enthusiasm for life.
▪ These were necessary because most special education students have difficulty in concentrating and have generally limited attention spans.
concentration
▪ On the drive to Pelham Woods Rachel realised just how short the concentration span was of some members of the group.
▪ Organisation One of the problems often associated with working with young children is their apparently short concentration span.
life
▪ From these deathly origins Nizan's life span was to proceed in an anguished spiral.
▪ The company mixes engine oils, also shortening engines life spans.
▪ He points out that an animal's life span is linked to its metabolic rate.
▪ With a longer life span, a lot of people are just becoming too frail to take care of themselves.
▪ Anencephalus, for example, has no life expectancy beyond a few weeks, and even this short life span is rare.
▪ So too is ego, the life span of which, as seen, is but a wink....
▪ It is generally accepted that the life span of the traditional flat felt roof is about 10 years.
▪ But the good news is that the gap between male and female life spans is narrowing.
time
▪ Development of all major new weapons programmes would nevertheless continue but over a longer time span.
▪ Statistically this loss rate is low seen in the perspective of the number of flying Spitfires over this time span.
▪ I call this measure the responsibility time span of the role.
▪ We shall not make any comments about this until we have had a chance to inspect a longer time span.
▪ This survey provides a particularly rich source of data because of the long time span covered.
▪ The time span which is likely to be required for a generation of more effective large-scale entrepreneurs to evolve is considerable.
▪ The time span of observation in these studies varies from a few minutes to several hours.
▪ Here dating becomes more and more problematical as the time spans become longer and longer.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ During a fifty-year span, Baldwin produced close to ninety novels.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Any investigation which covers a long span of time is bound to encounter certain special problems.
▪ Bridge police say they drive about 2, 000 bridge phobics over the spans each year.
▪ In February, they play 14 games, including seven in a span of 11 nights, all on the road.
▪ In her mind, the reengineering decision granted her a well-deserved promotion and greater span of control.
▪ It has 9 arches with above-average spans of 58 feet.
▪ Logitech predicts a life span of between six months and a year.Overall, I liked the MouseMan Cordless very much.
▪ Organisation One of the problems often associated with working with young children is their apparently short concentration span.
III.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
almost
▪ Their interests span almost all the conventional disciplines.
▪ Saint-Thomas's departure from the first secretaryship closed a cycle of ministerial dynasticism that had spanned almost a century.
▪ Kakoo's life spanned almost a century and her wonderful memory made everything so vivid for all the generations who knew her.
▪ Nevertheless, despite this work spanning almost half a century, it can be understood as forming a coherent and systematic theory.
▪ The Cornmill's central feature is a giant glazed atrium spanning almost ninety feet and consisting of 258 panes of glass.
■ NOUN
bridge
▪ The bridge spans the watercourse descending from Coire Mhic Nobuil in a very attractive setting, well seen from the parapet.
▪ By 1875 Atchison could boast of a railroad bridge spanning the Missouri, a mechanical marvel that turned in order to open.
▪ One runner remembers an elaborate bridge under construction, spanning the highway, with an office building next door.
▪ This most elegant of bridges has a centre span of 702 feet.
▪ The bridge, which spans the moat, is 140 feet long and 30 feet wide.
▪ We soon saw the lengthy pontoon bridge spanning the Angara River.
▪ This is the bridge that still spans the entrance to the Junction.
▪ From the farm continue along a trackway leading northwards over a bridge spanning Scandale Beck.
career
▪ Norman Schwarzkopf's army career spanned 35 years.
▪ With a working career spanning barely four years, he is the list's sensation.
▪ The two-week work experience forms an important part of All Saints' careers programme, which spans three years.
generation
▪ The time-scale involved is seldom measurable, but spans many generations.
▪ The book's appeal spans generations.
period
▪ The carving of the Mount Rushmore Monument likewise spanned a period of fourteen years.
▪ Until the end of the month a selection of them spanning a forty-year period may be seen at Matthew Marks.
▪ The third winter series of meetings spans the period September 1990 to April 1991 and consists of eight seminars.
▪ The display includes 24 works from the collection of the Tate Gallery, spanning a period of 160 years.
▪ Most treatment span a period of time, so check that you have sufficient medication for the whole course.
▪ The analysis spans a period when technology and communication techniques transformed the outward face of policing.
▪ The disclosed documents, which span a period up to 1995, do not suggest that BATemployees committed any crime in Britain.
river
▪ He was supremely confident that he could span the river.
▪ Bridges with catenary lights that spanned rivers wider than I could swim.
spectrum
▪ Transend are continually looking for shareware that spans a wide spectrum.
▪ Hard stony meteorites span the entire spectrum of strengths between these extremes, and they will be selected accordingly.
▪ Opposition to most-favored-nation status spans the political spectrum.
time
▪ In other words, lots of concurrent partners in the briefest possible time span will equal the greatest chance of epidemic spread.
▪ Historical records extend only a few thousand years, a time span that is still inadequate to treat slow geologic processes.
▪ Thus the bulk of Laurentia came together in the relatively short time span of 150 million years.
▪ All those decisions can often occur within a five-minute entrepreneurial time span.
years
▪ Norman Schwarzkopf's army career spanned 35 years.
▪ Their research spanned thirteen years, and involved twelve hundred subjects in nine different studies.
▪ The three cave occupations spanned some 100,000 years with ten distinct cultural horizons.
▪ Thus the bulk of Laurentia came together in the relatively short time span of 150 million years.
▪ With a working career spanning barely four years, he is the list's sensation.
▪ A fascinating and provocative timetable spanning nearly 200 million years has emerged.
▪ His writings fill twenty-four manuscript volumes, spanning the years 1781 to 1794.
▪ Police in Cheshire and Greater Manchester have joined forces to investigate a series of attacks which span more than six years.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ "Heimat' is a vivid social drama spanning sixty years in the life of one small village.
▪ Cecil Pickett's teaching career spanned 33 years.
▪ In a career spanning four decades, Brewster had many legal triumphs.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A key feature is the system's automatic two-phase commit support for distributed transactions spanning multiple heterogeneous databases that support two-phase commit.
▪ It took a full forty-eight hours to span the continent from New York to Los Angeles.
▪ Mason Pearson's unsurpassed reputation for true value combined with the very highest standards in hair care now spans a whole century.
▪ Moreover, the proposed business units would span several establishments and would not lend themselves easily to rapid consolidation.
▪ Some researchers believe the topography may even approach a Himalayan scale, spanning several miles from peak to trough.
▪ The columns carried hefty ceiling or roof beams, sometimes spanning 5 metres, but usually less.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Span

Span \Span\, v. i. To be matched, as horses. [U. S.]

Span

Span \Span\, archaic imp. & p. p. of Spin.

Span

Span \Span\, n. [AS. spann; akin to D. span, OHG. spanna, G. spanne, Icel. sp["o]nn. [root]170. See Span, v. t. ]

  1. The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom.

  2. Hence, a small space or a brief portion of time.

    Yet not to earth's contracted span Thy goodness let me bound.
    --Pope.

    Life's but a span; I'll every inch enjoy.
    --Farquhar.

  3. The spread or extent of an arch between its abutments, or of a beam, girder, truss, roof, bridge, or the like, between its supports.

  4. (Naut.) A rope having its ends made fast so that a purchase can be hooked to the bight; also, a rope made fast in the center so that both ends can be used.

  5. [Cf. D. span, Sw. spann, Dan. sp[ae]nd, G. gespann. See Span, v. t. ] A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action.

    Span blocks (Naut.), blocks at the topmast and topgallant-mast heads, for the studding-sail halyards.

    Span counter, an old English child's game, in which one throws a counter on the ground, and another tries to hit it with his counter, or to get his counter so near it that he can span the space between them, and touch both the counters.
    --Halliwell. ``Henry V., in whose time boys went to span counter for French crowns.''
    --Shak.

    Span iron (Naut.), a special kind of harpoon, usually secured just below the gunwale of a whaleboat.

    Span roof, a common roof, having two slopes and one ridge, with eaves on both sides.
    --Gwilt.

    Span shackle (Naut.), a large bolt driven through the forecastle deck, with a triangular shackle in the head to receive the heel of the old-fashioned fish davit.
    --Ham. Nav. Encyc.

Span

Span \Span\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spanned; p. pr. & vb. n. Spanning.] [AS. pannan; akin to D. & G. spannen, OHG. spannan, Sw. sp["a]nna, Dan. sp[ae]nde, Icel. spenna, and perh. to Gr. ? to draw, to drag, L. spatium space. [root]170. Cf. Spin, v. t., Space, Spasm.]

  1. To measure by the span of the hand with the fingers extended, or with the fingers encompassing the object; as, to span a space or distance; to span a cylinder.

    My right hand hath spanned the heavens.
    --Isa. xiviii. 13.

  2. To reach from one side of to the order; to stretch over as an arch.

    The rivers were spanned by arches of solid masonry.
    --prescott.

  3. To fetter, as a horse; to hobble.

Span

Spin \Spin\ (sp[i^]n), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spun(Archaic imp. Span); p. pr. & vb. n. Spinning.] [AS. spinnan; akin to D. & G. spinnen, Icel. & Sw. spinna, Dan. spinde, Goth. spinnan, and probably to E. span. [root]170. Cf. Span, v. t., Spider.]

  1. To draw out, and twist into threads, either by the hand or machinery; as, to spin wool, cotton, or flax; to spin goat's hair; to produce by drawing out and twisting a fibrous material.

    All the yarn she [Penelope] spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill Ithaca full of moths.
    --Shak.

  2. To draw out tediously; to form by a slow process, or by degrees; to extend to a great length; -- with out; as, to spin out large volumes on a subject.

    Do you mean that story is tediously spun out?
    --Sheridan.

  3. To protract; to spend by delays; as, to spin out the day in idleness.

    By one delay after another they spin out their whole lives.
    --L'Estrange.

  4. To cause to turn round rapidly; to whirl; to twirl; as, to spin a top.

  5. To form (a web, a cocoon, silk, or the like) from threads produced by the extrusion of a viscid, transparent liquid, which hardens on coming into contact with the air; -- said of the spider, the silkworm, etc.

  6. (Mech.) To shape, as malleable sheet metal, into a hollow form, by bending or buckling it by pressing against it with a smooth hand tool or roller while the metal revolves, as in a lathe.

    To spin a yarn (Naut.), to tell a story, esp. a long or fabulous tale.

    To spin hay (Mil.), to twist it into ropes for convenient carriage on an expedition.

    To spin street yarn, to gad about gossiping. [Collog.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
span

"distance between two objects," from Old English span "distance between the thumb and little finger of an extended hand" (as a measure of length, roughly nine inches), probably related to Middle Dutch spannen "to join, fasten" (see span (v.)).\n

\nThe Germanic word was borrowed into Medieval Latin as spannus, hence Italian spanna, Old French espan "hand's width, span as a unit of measure," French empan. As a measure of volume (early 14c.), "what can be held in two cupped hands." Meaning "length of time" first attested 1590s; that of "space between abutments of an arch, etc." is from 1725. Meaning "maximum lateral dimension of an aircraft" is first recorded 1909.

span

"two animals driven together," 1769, American English, from Dutch span, from spannen "to stretch or yoke," from Middle Dutch spannan, cognate with Old English spannan "to join" (see span (v.)). Also used in South African English.

span

Old English spannan "to join, link, clasp, fasten, bind, connect; stretch, span," from Proto-Germanic *spannan (cognates: Old Norse spenna, Old Frisian spanna, Middle Dutch spannen, Dutch spannan "stretch, bend, hoist, hitch," Old High German spannan, German spannen "to join, fasten, extend, connect"), from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin" (cognates: Latin pendere "to hang, to cause to hang," pondus "weight" (perhaps the notion is the weight of a thing measured by how much it stretches a cord), pensare "to weigh, consider;" Greek ponos "toil," ponein "to toil;" Lithuanian spendziu "lay a snare;" Old Church Slavonic peti "stretch, strain," pato "fetter," pina "I span;" Old English spinnan "to spin;" for other cognates, see spin (v.)).\n

\nThe meaning "to encircle with the hand(s)" is from 1781; in the sense of "to form an arch over (something)" it is first recorded 1630s. Related: Spanned; spanning.

Wiktionary
span

Etymology 1 n. 1 The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom. 2 Hence, a small space or a brief portion of time. 3 The spread or extent of an arch or between its abutments, or of a beam, girder, truss, roof, bridge, or the like, between supports. 4 The length of a cable, wire, rope, chain between two consecutive supports. 5 (context nautical English) A rope having its ends made fast so that a purchase can be hooked to the bight; also, a rope made fast in the center so that both ends can be used. 6 (context obsolete English) A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action. 7 (context mathematics English) the space of all linear combinations of something Etymology 2

vb. 1 To traverse the distance between. 2 To cover or extend over an area or time period. 3 To measure by the span of the hand with the fingers extended, or with the fingers encompassing the object. 4 (context mathematics English) to generate an entire space by means of linear combinations 5 (context intransitive US dated English) To be matched, as horses. 6 To fetter, as a horse; to hobble. Etymology 3

vb. (context archaic nonstandard English) (en-simple past of: spin)

WordNet
span
  1. v. to cover or extend over an area or time period; "Rivers traverse the valley floor", "The parking lot spans 3 acres"; "The novel spans three centuries" [syn: cross, traverse, sweep]

  2. [also: spanning, spanned]

span
  1. n. the complete duration of something; "the job was finished in the span of an hour"

  2. the distance or interval between two points

  3. two items of the same kind [syn: couple, pair, twosome, twain, brace, yoke, couplet, distich, duo, duet, dyad, duad]

  4. a unit of length based on the width of the expanded human hand (usually taken as 9 inches)

  5. a structure that allows people or vehicles to cross an obstacle such as a river or canal or railway etc. [syn: bridge]

  6. the act of sitting or standing astride [syn: straddle]

  7. [also: spanning, spanned]

Wikipedia
Span (unit)

A span is the distance measured by a human hand, from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. In ancient times, a span was considered to be half a cubit. Sometimes the distinction is made between the great span (thumb to little finger) and little span (index finger to little finger).

Span (category theory)

In category theory, a span, roof or correspondence is a generalization of the notion of relation between two objects of a category. When the category has all pullbacks (and satisfies a small number of other conditions), spans can be considered as morphisms in a category of fractions.

Span (programming language)

Span is a programming language targeting the Parrot virtual machine. Its syntax is meant to be very similar to C, but its philosophy is Smalltalk-like, and it uses Smalltalk-style message syntax. Almost all of Span's library visible to the user is written in Span itself. Span is dynamically typed. The hello world program in Span is

class Hello {
  static public main: args {
    Console << "Hello World!\n";
  }
}

Span uses blocks ala Smalltalk for all flow control constructs except definition. For example, for this pseudocode fragment:

if x > y
    print "yes"
else
    print "no"

Span would write

(x > y)
    ifTrue: { Console << "yes" }
    ifFalse: { Console << "no" };

Span is currently in very early stages of development.

Span (band)

SPAN was a Norwegian rock band that formed in 2000 from the ashes of two other outfits; Explicit Lyrics and Squid. Self-proclaimed as "Norwegian Turbo-Rock 'n' Roll Commandos", the band was made of Jarle Bernhoft on lead vocals and guitar, Fridtjof Nilsen on guitar, Vemund Stavnes on bass and Fredrik Wallumrød on drums. When Vemund Stavnes left in 2003, he was replaced by Kim Nordbæk.

SPAN spent much of the years between 2002 and 2004 touring the UK and Norway as well as spending a brief time in the U.S.. To date they have sold over 55,000 albums world wide.

In August 2005, much to their loyal fans' disappointment, SPAN announced that they were to take a break. Unfortunately there are no plans to return since a post on their website stated that the band "no longer share a common dream and ambition" and that they have "decided to end this while we are still the best of friends".

Span (engineering)

Span is the distance between two intermediate supports for a structure, e.g. a beam or a bridge. A span can be closed by a solid beam or by a rope. The first kind is used for bridges, the second one for power lines, overhead telecommunication lines, some type of antennas or for aerial tramways.

The span is a significant factor in finding the strength and size of a beam as it determines the maximum bending moment and deflection. The maximum bending moment M and deflection δin the pictured beam is found using:


$$M_{max} = \frac {q L^2} {8}$$


$$\delta_{max} = \frac {5 M_{max} L^2} {48 E I} = \frac {5 q L^4} {384 E I}$$

where


q
= Uniformly distributed load


L
= Length of the beam between two supports (span)


E
= Modulus of elasticity


I
= Area moment of inertia

Note that the maximum bending moment and deflection occur midway between the two supports. From this it follows that if the span is doubled, the maximum moment (and with it the stress) will quadruple, and deflection will increase by a factor of sixteen.

For long-distance rope spans, used as power line, antenna or for aerial tramways, see list of spans.

Usage examples of "span".

Each chain over a shore span consists of two segments, the longer attached to the tie at the top of the river tower, the shorter to the link at the top of the abutment tower, and the two jointed together at the lowest point.

The cost of abutments and bridge flooring is practically independent of the length of span adopted.

The section of the report dealing with Acton had covered a respectable span of time, but Jani had still found significant gaps.

A single adamantine bridge, a narrow slab of metal without guardrails and wide enough for only two or three men abreast, spanned the moat.

Peslar Square, and you could convince an adjudicator that your charge was reasonable, the adjudicator could order your alibi archive or mine unlocked for the time span in question, which would prove that I am innocent.

On February 5th the line was advancing, and on the 6th it was known that De Wet was actually within the angle, the mouth of which was spanned by the British line.

The Argon laid his palm flat upon her breast, using his fingers to measure the span.

Yank had used slang sampling a thirty-year span of American argot, and Jonathan assumed he got it from late night movies.

Sometimes too you will see the term Phanerozoic used to describe the span encompassing the Cenozoic, Mesozoic, and Paleozoic eras.

Church by splitting it in two, and uniting opportunistic Fluxlords and Anchors chafing at the old system to create an empire that had at its height spanned more than half of World.

Not more than twenty spans back down the road a cloaked figure on horseback followed them, horse and rider alike black, dull and ungleaming.

Blanchard says he saw a tail fully a span in length: and there is a description in 1690 of a man by the name of Emanuel Konig, a son of a doctor of laws who had a tail half a span long, which grew directly downward from the coccyx and was coiled on the perineum, causing much discomfort.

I wish here only to draw attention to the fact that all holons possess a degree of depth, with its correlative rights, existing in a span with correlative responsibilities, and that as our own awareness evolves to greater depth itself, it more adequately unpacks the Basic Moral Intuition, which infuses us with an awareness, and a drive, and a demand, to extend the greatest depth to the greatest span, as best we can under the ridiculous circumstances known as samsara.

Monday afternoon Marvin Oates was pulling his suitcase on wheels down a rural road that traversed cattle acreage and pecan orchards, across a bridge that spanned a coulee lined with hardwoods and palmettos, past neat cottages with screened porches and shade trees.

Still without power to eye her, he measured the space and the spans, his hand beneath the coverlids of the couch, and at a spot of the bosom his hand sank in, and he felt a fluttering thing, fluttering like a frighted bird in the midst of the fire.