1 DISTANCEa) measuring a large distance from one side to the other: a hat with a wide brim—opposite narrow 1 (1)b) five metres/two miles etc wide measuring five metres etc from one side to the other: The door's three feet wide.2 VARIETY including or involving a large variety of different people, things, or situations: a man with a wide experience of foreign affairs | wide range/variety/selection etc: We stock a wide range of furnishing materials.3 IN MANY PLACES (usually before noun) happening among many people or in many places: The Whitewater scandal received wide publicity.4 wide difference/gap/variation etc a large and noticeable difference: the ever-wider gap between the richest and poorest countries5 the wider issues/view/context etc the more general features of a situation, rather than the specific details: We also have a wider aim: the restoration of democracy.6 EYES especially literary wide eyes are fully open, especially when someone is very surprised, excited, or frightened: Her eyes grew wide in anticipation.7 give sb/sth a wide berth especially BrE to avoid someone or something8 the big wide world especially spoken places outside the small familiar place where you live: Soon you'll leave school and go out into the big wide world.9 nationwide/city-wide etc happening or existing all over the nation, city etc: a country-wide problem—see also: widely, width USAGE NOTE: WIDE WORD CHOICE: wide, broad, big, large, wide-ranging Wide is the most usual word to describe something that measures a long distance from one side to another: a wide road/lake/doorway/entrance/staircase . You also use wide to express how much something measures from side to side: The gap was only a few inches wide. Broad is often used about parts of the body: broad shoulders/hips | a broad nose/forehead Broad often suggests that something is wide in a good or attractive way: a broad sunny avenue running through the middle of the town Sometimes you may need to think whether you really mean wide or broad, or just big or large (=wide in all directions): a wide carpet/field or a large carpet/field Wide-ranging means covering a lot of different subjects or including a lot of different ideas: a wide-ranging review/report/speech 2 adverb 1a) a door or window that is wide open is open as fully as it can beb) if someone's eyes or mouth are wide open, they are open as far as possible, especially when they are surprisedc) if a competition, election etc is wide open, it is possible for anyone to succeed: After Milan's win the championship is wide open.2 opening or spreading as much as possible: The door opened a little wider. | open/spread sth wide: Spiro spread his arms wide in a welcoming gesture. | wide apart: Sandy stood with his back to the fire, legs wide apart.3 not hitting the point you were aiming at: One of the guards fired at us but the shot went wide.4 wide awake completely awake—see also: far and wide far 1 (5), wide of the mark/off the mark mark 2 (11)
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.