Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Aug 18, 2017
This week’s theme
Words from animals

This week’s words
dog days
lionize
chicken hawk
blackbird
spread-eagle

The coat of arms of the US
The coat of arms of the United States

This week’s comments
AWADmail 790

Next week’s theme
Miscellaneous words
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

spread-eagle

PRONUNCIATION:
(SPRED-ee-guhl)

MEANING:
noun:An emblematic representation of an eagle with outspread wings.
verb tr.:To position someone with arms and legs stretched out.
verb intr.:1. To assume the form of a spread eagle.
 2. To be boastful or bombastic in a display of nationalistic pride.
adjective:1. Lying with arms and legs stretched out.
 2. Boastful or bombastic in a display of nationalistic pride.

ETYMOLOGY:
The eagle, in various positions, has been a popular bird in heraldry. A spread eagle is on the coats of arms of Germany, Poland, Romania, and the United States. Earliest documented use: 1550. Also see frogmarch.

USAGE:
“‘Residents were regularly harassed, stopped, searched; put up against a wall, the police car, the buildings, and spread-eagled,’ Futterman says.”
Lydialyle Gibson; Policing the Police; ABA Journal (Chicago, Illinois); Sep 2016.

“The Glorious Fourth began with a parade to the bandstand for a spread-eagle speech and ended with a barbecue on the edge of town.”
William Culp Darrah; Powell of the Colorado; Princeton University Press; 1951.

See more usage examples of spread-eagle in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Someone needs to explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn't make a corporation a terrorist. -Winona LaDuke, activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer (b. 18 Aug 1959)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith