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Broad vs. Wide: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 28, 2024
"Broad" often refers to comprehensive or extensive scope, while "wide" specifically denotes physical breadth or wideness.

Key Differences

Broad is used to describe something that covers a large number or range of subjects, indicating extensiveness in scope or content. Wide, on the other hand, is typically used to denote the physical measurement of something from side to side, emphasizing its spatial extent.
Huma Saeed
Jan 28, 2024
In the context of discussions or thoughts, broad implies a comprehensive approach, encompassing a wide range of aspects or ideas. Conversely, wide is less commonly used in abstract contexts, usually referring to tangible dimensions like the width of a road or a door.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024
Broad can also suggest generality or lack of specificity, as in a broad statement or a broad overview. In contrast, wide is more precise, quantifying the extent of something's physical breadth, like a wide river or a wide gap.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024
When describing a person's interests or skills, broad implies a diverse range of abilities or knowledge areas. Wide, in similar contexts, might be used to describe physical expanses, such as a wide smile or wide eyes, rather than abstract qualities.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024
The usage of broad often carries a metaphorical or figurative sense, as in a broad understanding or broad implications. Wide, however, is commonly associated with literal, physical measurements, such as a wide hallway or a wide screen.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Usage Context

Often abstract, referring to scope or range
Primarily physical, referring to dimensions
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Connotation

Comprehensive, extensive, or general
Physical breadth or distance from side to side
Huma Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Common Associations

Ideas, understanding, categories
Objects, spaces, measurements
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Abstract vs. Physical

More abstract and metaphorical
More concrete and literal
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Examples

Broad spectrum, broad overview
Wide road, wide gap
Harlon Moss
Jan 28, 2024
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Broad and Wide Definitions

Broad

Wide in extent or scope.
The river was broad and slow-moving.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Wide

Covering a large area; extensive.
The storm caused wide damage across the region.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Broad

General without detail.
He gave a broad outline of the plan.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Wide

Encompassing a large number or variety; diverse.
The museum has a wide collection of artifacts.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Broad

Open and clear; not limited or narrow.
The discussion took a broad approach to the issue.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Wide

Having a great extent from side to side.
The bridge was too wide to cross on foot.
Huma Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Broad

Covering a large number or range of subjects.
She has a broad knowledge of music genres.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Wide

Fully open or extended.
She opened her eyes wide in surprise.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Broad

Having a wide range or a comprehensive view.
The course offers a broad understanding of the subject.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Wide

Far from a target or mark.
His shot went wide of the goal.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Broad

Wide in extent from side to side
A broad river.
Broad shoulders.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Wide

Having a specified extent from side to side
A ribbon two inches wide.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Broad

Large in expanse; spacious
A broad lawn.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

Wide

Extending over a great distance from side to side; broad
A wide road.
A wide necktie.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

FAQs

Can broad be used for physical dimensions?

Less commonly, it's more abstract.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

What does broad mean?

Broad refers to extensive scope or wide range in subjects.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Is wide used in abstract contexts?

Rarely, it's typically for physical dimensions.
Harlon Moss
Jan 28, 2024

How is broad used in a sentence?

E.g., "He has broad interests."
Harlon Moss
Jan 28, 2024

What does wide mean?

Wide describes physical breadth or spatial extent.
Huma Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

What's a synonym for wide?

Broad or extensive, in physical contexts.
Harlon Moss
Jan 28, 2024

Does wide imply breadth?

Yes, it specifically refers to breadth or width.
Harlon Moss
Jan 28, 2024

Can broad describe a physical object?

Yes, but it's more common in abstract uses.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Does broad imply detail?

No, it often indicates a general or comprehensive view.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Is wide used metaphorically?

Less often, it's more literal.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 28, 2024

Does broad mean the same as wide?

Not exactly, they have different primary uses.
Harlon Moss
Jan 28, 2024

How do you describe a wide area?

It's an area extensive in its physical dimensions.
Janet White
Jan 28, 2024

How is wide used in construction?

To specify the physical width of structures or spaces.
Janet White
Jan 28, 2024

How is wide used in a sentence?

E.g., "The door was wide open."
Aimie Carlson
Jan 28, 2024

Can wide describe abstract concepts?

It's more suited for tangible, physical aspects.
Janet White
Jan 28, 2024

Is broad used metaphorically?

Often, as in "broad implications."
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

How do you describe a broad perspective?

It's an approach that considers many aspects.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

Can broad and wide be interchangeable?

In some contexts, but they have distinct nuances.
Janet White
Jan 28, 2024

What's a synonym for broad?

Expansive or comprehensive.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 28, 2024

How is broad used in academia?

To describe a wide-ranging study or understanding.
Harlon Moss
Jan 28, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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