• WordNet 3.6
    • n breadth the extent of something from side to side
    • n breadth the capacity to understand a broad range of topics "a teacher must have a breadth of knowledge of the subject","a man distinguished by the largeness and scope of his views"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Breadth Distance from side to side of any surface or thing; measure across, or at right angles to the length; width.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n breadth The measure of the second principal diameter of a surface or solid, the first being length, and the third (in the case of a solid) thickness. Thus, if a rectangular parallelopiped measures 3 feet by 2 feet by 1 foot, its breadth is 2 feet. The breadth of a surface is, in the common use of the word, the distance between the margins, which are regarded as the sides, as distinguished from length, or the distance from end to end.
    • n breadth Hence Figuratively, largeness; freedom from narrowness or restraint; liberality: as, breadth of culture, breadth of view, etc.
    • n breadth That quality in a work of art, whether pictorial or plastic, which is obtained by the simple, clear rendering of essential forms, and the strict subordination of details to general effect. Breadth of design, of color, of light and shade, or of surface treatment, gives an impression of mastery, ease, and freedom in the use of material on the part of the artist, which conveys a sense of repose and dignity to the mind.
    • n breadth In logic, extension; an aggregate of subjects of which a logical term can be predicated.
    • n breadth Something that has breadth; specifically, a piece of a fabric of the regular width; a width.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Breadth bredth extent from side to side: width: a style in painting in which details are strictly subordinated to the harmony of the whole composition
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  • Thomas Carlyle
    “Narrative is linear, but action has breadth and depth as well as height and is solid.”
  • Walt Whitman
    “Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe, old age flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.”
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.”
  • King Jr. Martin Luther
    “There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.”


By a hair's breadth - If a person escapes from some danger by a hair's breadth, they only just managed to avoid it. The breadth is the thickness of a hair, so they probably feel somewhat lucky because the margin between success and what could easily have been failure was so close.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. brede, breede, whence later bredette, AS. brǣdu, fr. brād, broad. See Broad (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. brǽdu; Ger. briete. See Broad.


In literature:

There was a spaciousness, a planetary sweep and glittering breadth that shriveled me.
"Journeys to Bagdad" by Charles S. Brooks
It is 275 feet in length, 74 in breadth, and 90 in height, the roof being of oak, of curious gothic architecture.
"Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II." by Pierce Egan
There you see a sound varying little in breadth.
"From Pole to Pole" by Sven Anders Hedin
She did not move a hair's breadth during the next two hours.
"Other Main-Travelled Roads" by Hamlin Garland
The structure is a hundred and fifty-eight feet high, and about the same breadth.
"Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology" by Charles K. Dillaway
Greatest breadth of the cerebellum 4 inches.
"Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society - Vol. 3" by Various
The entire length of Babylonia was about 300 miles; the greatest breadth about 125 miles.
"The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria" by Morris Jastrow
The cardinal faces, being equal to the inner breadth of the nave and transepts, are the longer.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ely" by W. D. Sweeting
The next ball gets past my comrade's bat, and skims within a hair's-breadth of his bails.
"Parkhurst Boys" by Talbot Baines Reed
Thar ain't the breadth o' a hand visible.
"The Lone Ranche" by Captain Mayne Reid

In poetry:

I see the river full of light
That, gliding slowly by,
Takes onward with it to the sight
A little breadth of sky.
"An April Afternoon" by Alexander Anderson
I come from the choking air
Of passion, doubt, and strife,
With a spirit and mind laid bare
To your healing breadth of life:
"Refuge" by Archibald Lampman
And we were the kings of all the world
We knew its breadth and length;
We dwelt in the glory of solitude,
And the majesty of strength.
"The Fossil Elephant" by Mary Botham Howitt
"Say in what clime- and you shall be withal
My great Apollo- the whole breadth of heaven
Opens no wider than three ells to view."
"Eclogue 3: Menalcas Daemoetas Palaemon" by Publius Vergilius Maro
"Say in what clime- and you shall be withal
My great Apollo- the whole breadth of heaven
Opens no wider than three ells to view."
"Eclogue III " by Virgil
Unploughed, unsown, by scythe unshorn,
The poor, forsaken farm-fields lie,
Once rich and rife with golden corn
And pale green breadths of rye.
"The Homestead" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

Polish, understatement and breadth were what the judges were looking for in this jazz competition.
On the ambitious two-CD XXI Century, Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba continues to develop the ideas of modernity and fusion hinted at on previous recordings, with greater depth and breadth.
Marriott International Inc today introduces its newest advertising campaign designed to showcase the breadth of its brands and welcome all frequent business travelers.
"With the growing breadth and depth of our electoral power, no one should take our votes for granted.".
"What's fascinating about Michelle Obama's family and her ancestors is that it shows us the breadth and depth of the experience of African-Americans during that time," says Rachel Swarns, a reporter for The New York Times.
Human rights suit presents two dogmas, a hair's breadth apart .
We have all had that moment, post-Sandy, where the breadth of the storm's damage has finally sunk in.
Reach will also work with Interactive One to expand its sales opportunities – taking their premium brand offering to Interactive One's breadth of digital advertising partners.
His dad Micko might be known the length and breadth of the country, but according to John O'Dwyer, at home there was only one legend -- his mum Mary Carmel.
I'm looking for salty, soft and warm pretzel bread—the kind that will leave your fingers greasy with butter—and warm, slightly spicy beer cheese as dip.
The breadth of its customer list — ranging from home-appliance makers to manufacturers of space hardware — makes its forecasts an indicator of demand across industries.
With Andy Grammer , who splits the hair's breadth of difference between Gavin DeGraw and Jason Mraz.
Michael Attas' columns routinely offer an engaging breadth of humanity, spirituality and medical experience.
There are a number of ways to invest in this trend through exchange-traded funds, but first you need to understand the breadth of its global implications.
It was to be expected that the contributors to Bogdanovich's oral history of Stanley Kubrick would consist primarily of family and those in the film industry, but this focus missed the breadth of Kubrick 's genius.

In science:

The coarsest attribute has cardinality |A1 | = 2L and the (optimized, breadthfirst) CTF strategy starts with the corresponding test.
Hierarchical testing designs for pattern recognition
While the breadth of observational and theoretical work presented at the meeting is far too great to be justly summarized here, I describe below several important themes that emerged over the course of the conference.
Hot Jupiters: Lands of Plenty
But I believe it can compete in the breadth and diversity of its phenomenological predictions.
Mirror particles and mirror matter: 50 years of speculation and search
The breadth of the bands has long been recognised as an extraordinary property which is considered by many to be a defining characteristic and one that might be expected to play a ma jor role in finding a solution.
The Diffuse Interstellar Bands: A Major Problem in Astronomical Spectroscopy
Higgs boson searches are gaining in both sensitivity and breadth; gaps are being plugged.
Moriond QCD 2007 - Theory Summary