Spread vs Affect - What's the difference?

spread | affect |

In lang=en terms the difference between spread and affect

is that spread is to cover (something) with a thin layer of some substance, as of butter while affect is to make a show of; to put on a pretence of; to feign; to assume to make a false display of.

As verbs the difference between spread and affect

is that spread is to stretch out, open out (a material etc) so that it more fully covers a given area of space while affect is to influence or alter or affect can be (obsolete|transitive) to aim for, to try to obtain.

As nouns the difference between spread and affect

is that spread is the act of spreading or something that has been spread while affect is (obsolete) one's mood or inclination; mental state.




  • To stretch out, open out (a material etc.) so that it more fully covers a given area of space.
  • To extend (individual rays, limbs etc.); to stretch out in varying or opposing directions.
  • To disperse, to scatter or distribute over a given area.
  • To proliferate; to become more widely present, to be disseminated.
  • *
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Old soldiers? , passage=Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine.
  • To disseminate; to cause to proliferate, to make (something) widely known or present.
  • To take up a larger area or space; to expand, be extended.
  • To smear, to distribute in a thin layer.
  • To cover (something) with a thin layer of some substance, as of butter.
  • To prepare; to set and furnish with provisions.
  • to spread a table
  • * Tennyson
  • Boiled the flesh, and spread the board.
  • (slang) To open one’s legs.
  • * 1984 , (Martin Amis), :
  • This often sounds like the rap of a demented DJ: the way she moves has got to be good news, can't get loose till I feel the juice— suck and spread , bitch, yeah bounce for me baby.
  • * 1991 , (Tori Amos), (Me and a Gun) :
  • Yes I wore a slinky red thing. Does that mean I should spread for you, your friends, your father, Mr Ed?
  • * 2003 , (Outkast), "Spread" (from the album ):
  • I don't want to move too fast, but / Can't resist your sexy ass / Just spread', ' spread for me; / (I can't, I can't wait to get you home)


    * disseminate * circulate * propagate * put about

    Derived terms

    * spread betting


    (en noun)
  • The act of spreading or something that has been spread.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • No flower hath spread like that of the woodbine.
  • An expanse of land.
  • * Addison
  • I have got a fine spread of improvable land.
  • A large tract of land used to raise livestock; a cattle ranch.
  • * 2005 , , 00:11:50:
  • - Can’t wait till I get my own spread and won’t have to put up with Joe Aguirre’s crap no more.
    - I’m savin’ for a place myself.
  • A piece of material used as a cover (such as a bedspread).
  • A large meal, especially one laid out on a table.
  • Any form of food designed to be spread such as butters or jams
  • An item in a newspaper or magazine that occupies more than one column or page.
  • A numerical difference.
  • (business, economics) The difference between the wholesale and retail prices.
  • (trading, economics, finance) The difference between the price of a futures month and the price of another month of the same commodity.
  • (trading, finance) The purchase of a futures contract of one delivery month against the sale of another futures delivery month of the same commodity.
  • (trading, finance) The purchase of one delivery month of one commodity against the sale of that same delivery month of a different commodity.
  • (trading) An arbitrage transaction of the same commodity in two markets, executed to take advantage of a profit from price discrepancies.
  • (trading) The difference between bidding and asking price.
  • (finance) The difference between the prices of two similar items.
  • (geometry) An unlimited expanse of discontinuous points.
  • Synonyms

    * straddle





    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) affecter, (etyl) affecter, and its source, the participle stem of (etyl) .


    (en verb)
  • To influence or alter.
  • The experience affected me deeply.
    The heat of the sunlight affected the speed of the chemical reaction.
  • * Macaulay
  • The climate affected their health and spirits.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-01
  • , author=Steven Sloman, volume=100, issue=1, page=74, magazine=(American Scientist) , title= The Battle Between Intuition and Deliberation , passage=Libertarian paternalism is the view that, because the way options are presented to citizens affects what they choose, society should present options in a way that “nudges” our intuitive selves to make choices that are more consistent with what our more deliberative selves would have chosen if they were in control.}}
  • To move to emotion.
  • He was deeply affected by the tragic ending of the play.
  • * Edmund Burke
  • A consideration of the rationale of our passions seems to me very necessary for all who would affect them upon solid and pure principles.
  • Of an illness or condition, to infect or harm (a part of the body).
  • Hepatitis affects the liver.
  • (archaic) To dispose or incline.
  • * Milton
  • men whom they thought best affected to religion and their country's liberty
  • (archaic) To tend to by affinity or disposition.
  • * Newton
  • The drops of every fluid affect a round figure.
  • (archaic) To assign; to appoint.
  • * Thackeray
  • One of the domestics was affected to his special service.
    Usage notes
    Affect'' and effect are sometimes confused. ''Affect'' conveys influence over something that already exists, but ''effect indicates the manifestation of new or original ideas or entities: * “...new policies have effected major changes in government.” * “...new policies have affected major changes in government.” The former indicates that major changes were made as a result of new policies, while the latter indicates that before new policies, major changes were in place, and that the new policies had some influence over these existing changes. The verbal noun uses of affect'' are distinguished from the verbal noun uses of ''effect'' more clearly than the regular verb forms. An ''affect'' is something that acts or acted upon something else. However, an ''effect is the result of an action (by something else).
    * (influence or alter) alter, change, have an effect on, have an impact on, influence * (move to emotion) move, touch * (infect) attack
    Derived terms
    * affectingly

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) (see Etymology 1, above).


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To aim for, to try to obtain.
  • * Dryden
  • This proud man affects imperial sway.
  • * 1596 , (Edmund Spenser), The Faerie Queene , VI.10:
  • From that day forth she gan to him affect , / And daily more her favour to augment […].
  • *, I.2.4.vii:
  • A young gentlewoman in Basil was marriedto an ancient man against her will, whom she could not affect ; she was continually melancholy, and pined away for grief […].
  • * 1663 , (Samuel Butler), :
  • But when he pleased to show 't, his speech / In loftiness of sound was rich; / A Babylonish dialect, / Which learned pedants much affect .
  • * Fuller
  • As for Queen Katharine, he rather respected than affected , rather honoured than loved, her.
  • (obsolete) To show a fondness for (something); to choose.
  • *1603 , (John Florio), translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays , III.9:
  • *:Amongst humane conditions this one is very common, that we are rather pleased with strange things then with our owne; we love changes, affect alterations, and like innovations.
  • * Shakespeare
  • For he does neither affect company, nor is he fit for it, indeed.
  • * Hazlitt
  • Do not affect the society of your inferiors in rank, nor court that of the great.
  • To make a show of; to put on a pretence of; to feign; to assume. To make a false display of.
  • to affect ignorance
    He managed to affect a smile despite feeling quite miserable.
  • * Congreve
  • Careless she is with artful care, / Affecting to seem unaffected.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Thou dost affect my manners.
    * (make a false display of) fake, simulate, feign
    Derived terms
    * affected * affectedly * affectedness * affectation

    Etymology 3

    (etyl) affect, from (etyl) affectus,


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) One's mood or inclination; mental state.
  • (obsolete) A desire, an appetite.
  • (psychology) A subjective feeling experienced in response to a thought or other stimulus; mood, emotion, especially as demonstrated in external physical signs.
  • * 1999 , Joyce Crick, translating Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams , Oxford 2008, p. 62:
  • if we are afraid of robbers in a dream, the robbers are certainly imaginary, but the fear is real. This draws our attention to the fact that the development of affects in dreams is not amenable to the judgement we make of the rest of the dream-content [...].
  • * 2004 , Jeffrey Greenberg & Thomas A Pyszczynski, Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology , p. 407:
  • A third study demonstrated that the effects of self-affirmation on self-regulated performance were not due to positive affect .
    Usage notes
    Affect'' and effect can both be used as nouns or verbs, but when used as a noun the word ''affect'' is limited to the above psychology uses and the definitions for ''effect are much more common. See also the above.
    Derived terms
    * affect display * flat affect * labile affect