DSAE test file

outspan, verb

Origin:
DutchShow more Calque formed on Dutch uitspan, uit out, from + spannen to yoke, hitch.
Note:
In all senses also uitspan verb. Cf. inspan, off-saddle verb.
Note:
There is some overlap in the intransitive senses.
1.
a. intransitive. obsolete. To unyoke or unharness oxen or other draught animals and allow them to rest; to span out, see span verb sense 3 a.
1801 in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1899) IV. 361Arrived at noon at the pasture place of Esterhuizen, where we outspanned and being provided with fresh relays we went on.
1951 R. Griffiths Grey about Flame 161Outspan, hobble the mules and then get on with it.
b. transitive. To unyoke or unharness (oxen or other draught animals) from a wagon or plough; rare, to unhitch (a waggon) from its draught animals.
Note:
Quotation 1962 may be intransitive.
1815 G. Barker Journal. 4 Aug.We..were oblidged to outspan our oxen before we could ascend the sand hills.
1990 M.M. Hacksley (tr. of E. Van Heerden) in Lynx 182At every turn-off..they had outspanned the donkeys, hobbled them and let them graze on the little patch of government servitude on either side of the road.
2. intransitive.
a. In historical contexts. To rest or camp at the side of the road while travelling by wagon; to span out, see span verb sense 3 b. b. transferred sense and figurative. To break a journey; to relax, take a break.
1811 J.G. Cuyler in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1901) VIII. 91The rovers passed Scheepers at night who lay close to the road outspanned with his waggon.
1977 Fugard & Devenish Guest 51We outspanned and put up our tents there where the kraal is now.
To unyoke or unharness oxen or other draught animals and allow them to rest; to span out, see spanverb3 a.
To unyoke or unharness (oxen or other draught animals) from a wagon or plough; rare, to unhitch (a waggon) from its draught animals.
To rest or camp at the side of the road while travelling by wagon; to span out, see spanverb3 b.
To break a journey; to relax, take a break.
Derivatives:
Hence outspanned participial adjective, unyoked, unharnessed, unhitched; encamped; outspanning verbal noun, the unyoking of draught animals; the breaking of a journey; also attributive.
1841 B. Shaw Memorials 220The other side of the river is the proper outspanning or halting-place, and there you ought to go.
1977 F.G. Butler Karoo Morning 11A trek by oxwagon — the whole slow ritual of inspanning and outspanning.

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18011990

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