to become widely opened, spread apart, dilated, distended, or enlarged; as, flowers expand in the spring; metals expand by heat; the heart expands with joy.
1. To lay open by extending; to open wide; to spread out; to diffuse; as, a flower expands its leaves. Then with expanded wings he steers his flight. (Milton)
2. To cause the particles or parts of to spread themselves or stand apart, thus increasing bulk without addition of substance; to make to occupy more space; to dilate; to distend; to extend every way; to enlarge; opposed to contract; as, to expand the chest; heat expands all bodies; to expand the sphere of benevolence.
3. (Science: mathematics) to state in enlarged form; to develop; as, to expand an equation. See expansion.
Origin: L. Expandere, expansum; ex out _ pandere to spread out, to throw open; perh. Akin to E. Patent. Cf. Spawn.