1. The act of expanding or spreading out; the condition of being expanded; dilation; enlargement.
2. That which is expanded; expanse; extend surface; as the expansion of a sheet or of a lake; the expansion was formed of metal. The starred expansion of the skies. (Beattie)
3. Space thought which anything is expanded; also, pure space. Lost in expansion, void and infinite. (Blackmore)
4. Enlargement or extension of business transaction; especially, increase of the circulation of bank notes.
5. (Science: mathematics) The developed result of an indicated operation; as, the expansion of (a _ b)^2 is a^2 _ 2ab _ b^2.
6. The operation of steam in a cylinder after its communication with the boiler has been cut off, by which it continues to exert pressure upon the moving piston.
7. (Science: astronomy) The enlargement of the ship mathematically from a model or drawing to the full or building size, in the process of construction.
expansion is also used adjectively, as in expansion joint, expansion gear, etc. Expansion curve, a curve the coordinates of which show the relation between the pressure and volume of expanding gas or vapor; especially.
a cut-off valve, to shut off steam from the cylinder before the end of each stroke.
- L. Expansio: cf. F. Expansion.