1. The measure or dimension from side to side; width.
2. A piece usually produced in a standard width: a breadth of canvas.
a. Wide range or scope: breadth of knowledge.
b. Tolerance; broadmindedness: a jurist of great breadth and wisdom.
4. An effect of unified, encompassing vision in an artistic composition.
[Middle English bredth, breth, alteration (on the model of length, length) of brede, from Old English brǣd.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.