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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Sprawl


SPRAWL, verb intransitive [The origin and affinities of this word are uncertain. It may be a contracted word.]

1. To spread and stretch the body carelessly in a horizontal position; to lie with the limbs stretched out or struggling. We say, a person lies sprawling; or he sprawls on the be or on the ground.

2. To move, when lying down, with awkward extension and motions of the limbs; to scrabble or scramble in creeping.

The birds were not fledged; but in sprawling and struggling to get clear of the flame, down they tumbled.

3. To widen or open irregularly, as a body of horse.