The difference between broad and wide
In the English language, broad and wide are often used as synonyms that have the same meaning. However, they have different meanings in some cases.
Wide is a word that refers to physical space. It means the distance from one side of an object to the other. The following sentences illustrate this meaning:
The mouth of the cave was very wide.
The bus was too wide to drive between the parked cars.
In these sentences, it is obvious that wide refers to a physical distance.
Broad, on the other hand, is commonly used in expressions, such as broad shoulders. It is more figurative and wide is literal. Poets used the word to describe settings, such as a broad valley or a broad river. Broad can also be abstract as in these sentences:
The robbers broke into the home in broad daylight.
The families came up with a broad agreement.
To make matters more confusing, wide can also be used in expressions, such as wide awake. Some examples of this usage are:
I must get up since I am wide awake.
There was widespread snow in the region yesterday.
The word broad refers to breadth, but wide refers to width.