ETYM as. spann; akin to Dutch span, Old High Germ. spanna, German spanne, Icel. spönn. Related to Span.
1. A unit of length based on the width of the expanded human hand (usually taken as 9 inches).
2. The complete duration of something.
3. The distance or interval between two points.
The algebraic difference between the limits of the range from zero to full scale.
ETYM u. s.
1. To measure by the span of the hand with the fingers extended, or with the fingers encompassing the object.
2. To reach from one side of to the other; to stretch over.
3. To fetter, as a horse; to hobble.