Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: SPACE

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: espace, from Latin spatium 'area, room, length of space or time'


1 noun
space1 S1 W1

empty area

[uncountable] the amount of an area, room, container etc that is empty or available to be used
space for
There's space for a table and two chairs.
How much space is there on each disk?
more/less/enough space
Now that we've got three kids, it'd be nice to have a bit more space.
The hedge takes up too much space.
sense/feeling of space (=the feeling that a place is large and empty, so you can move around easily)
In small homes a single colour scheme can create a sense of space.

area for particular purpose

[uncountable and countable] an area, especially one used for a particular purpose:
a supermarket with 700 free parking spaces
storage/cupboard/shelf space
We really do need more storage space.
the factory's floor space (=the size of the available floor area)

between things

[countable] an empty place between two things, or between two parts of something [= gap]
space between
the space between the house and the garage
Lucy cleared a space on her desk.
There was an empty space where the flowers had been.

outside the earth

[uncountable]HA the area beyond the Earth where the stars and planets are
in/into space
Who was the first American in space?
creatures from outer space (=far away in space)
space travel/research/programme/exploration
the history of space travel

where things exist

[uncountable]HP all of the area in which everything exists, and in which everything has a position or direction:
the exact point in space where two lines meet
how people of other cultures think about time and space



in/within the space of something

within a particular period of time:
Mandy had four children in the space of four years.

a short space of time

a short period of time:
They achieved a lot in a short space of time.

empty land

[uncountable and countable] land, or an area of land that has not been built on:
a pleasant town centre with plenty of open space
the wide open spaces of the prairies
the loss of green space in cities


[uncountable] the freedom to do what you want or do things on your own, especially in a relationship with someone else:
We give each other space in our marriage.
She needed time and space to sort out her life.

in writing

a) an empty area between written or printed words, lines etc:
Leave a space after each number.
b) the width of a typed letter of the alphabet:
The word 'the' takes up three spaces.
c) a place provided for you to write your name or other information on a document, piece of paper etc:
Please write any comments in the space provided.

in a report/book

[uncountable]TCN the amount of space in a newspaper, magazine, or book that is used for a particular subject:
The story got very little space in the national newspapers.

look/stare/gaze into space

to look straight in front of you without looking at anything in particular, usually because you are thinking
breathing space, personal space

; ➔ waste of space

at waste1 (5)

; ➔ watch this space

at watch1 (11)
vehicles used in space: spaceship, spacecraft, rocket, (space) shuttle, probe, satellite, space station

someone who travels in space: astronaut, cosmonaut Russian

parts of a rocket's journey: countdown, launch, blast-off/take-off/lift-off, leaving the earth's atmosphere, going into orbit, re-entering the earth's atmosphere, splashdown/touchdown

places and things in space: planet, moon, star, sun, satellite, solar system, constellation, galaxy, universe, the cosmos, black hole, quasar, comet, meteor, asteroid

the study of space: astronomy
space UFO, NASA, science fiction
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