To expand something is to make it bigger.

  • Our company is expanding. (It’s getting bigger.)
  • Dough for bread expands as it rises. (It gets bigger.)
  • Problems may expand if they aren’t addressed.
  • The number of people moving to the south continues to expand.
  • Major league baseball has expanded over the years to 30 teams.
  • As people get older, their waistlines expand.
  • The hours of operation for a nearby store expanded to accommodate shoppers who needed to make purchases after 9 p.m.
  • The U.S. economy continues to expand.
  • The opposite of the word "expand" is "contract."


Many cities in the U.S. expanded rapidly after the 1940s.

The word "expansion" is a noun:

  • A rapid expansion of the city’s population forced city planners to provide more housing.
  • The opposite of an expansion is a contraction.
  • The expansion of the universe started billions of years ago with the big bang.
  • The Great Plains region of the United States covers a wide expanse. (The word "expanse" is also a noun.)
  • The Pacific Ocean is an expanse of water too large to cross in a small boat.