- 1. a representation of an eagle with outspread wings, used as an emblem of the United States and certain other countries.2. a boastful, self-assertive person, especially an American with an excess of national or regional pride.3. a figure executed in skating, consisting of a sideways glide with the arms outstretched and the legs widely opened.spread-ea|gle «SPREHD EE guhl», adjective, verb, -gled, -gling.–adj.1. having or suggestive of the form or appearance of a spread eagle.2. U.S. boastful or high-sounding, especially in praise of the United States: »
spread-eagle oratory. It wasn't a spread-eagle speech, but he [Danieebster] made you see it (Stephen Vincent Benét).SYNONYM(S): grandiloquent, bombastic.–v.t.1. to stretch out flat and sprawling as if in a spread eagle: »
The man…fell and lay spread-eagled on the snow (New Yorker).2. to tie (a person) with the arms and legs spread widely to the sides as a form of punishment or torture.3. to beat thoroughly, as by lapping one's opponents: »
[He] virtually spread-eagled the field with a perfect start and lengthy strides (New York Times).–v.i.1. to do a spread eagle or spread eagles in skating.2. to stretch out flat; sprawl: »
The horse pulled up [to the fence] and spread-eagled among the poles (Manchester Guardian Weekly).
Useful english dictionary. 2012.