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The sentence in question:

Comparatively, they refused to shrink back into the domestic sphere; 80 percent who worked outside the home wished to continue doing so by the war’s end. Women continued to push for expanded job opportunities, entry into professional roles, and greater access to higher education.

The dictionary says, expanded:

a) being or having been enlarged or extended (related to shape)

surely doesn't apply in this sentence

b) become or make larger or more extensive.

with subparts based on: become less reserved in character or behaviour OR give a fuller version or account of.

Surely, none of the above definitions correspond to the correct intended meaning of the word, as said by KA, that women sought more opportunities in the workforce.

Hence, My question:

Why is "expanded" the correct word to use in this sentence, when none of its dictionary meanings correspond to what it's actually supposed to mean?


for reference - courtesy KA; correct answer for editing the word "expanded" is - no change

Passage: "A "Rosie" Turn on American Labor"

[four initial paragraphs omitted]

As a result of their entry into careers from which they were previously excluded, women exercised a newfound social and economic independence. They enjoyed having an income of their own and living on their own for the first time. Comparatively, they refused to shrink back into the domestic sphere; 80 percent who worked outside the home wished to continue doing so by the war’s end. Women continued to push for expanded job opportunities, entry into professional roles, and greater access to higher education. As the graph suggests, Rosie’s influence persisted even after the war. To this day, Rosie continues to influence women as a symbol of feminism in popular culture.

All options:

A. NO CHANGE This choice is the best answer because “expanded” is the most contextually appropriate way to say that women sought more opportunities in the workforce.

B. inflated “Inflated” is not the most contextually appropriate way to suggest that women sought further opportunities and advancements in the workforce. While “inflated” does offer some sense of growth, it also carries the negative connotation of something gaining more power than its actual value merits.

C. amplified “Amplified” is not the most contextually appropriate way to suggest that women sought further opportunities and advancements in the workforce. While “amplified” does offer some sense of growth, it also carries a connotation of sound and intensity that is not appropriate in this context.

D. prolonged “Prolonged” is not the most contextually appropriate way to suggest that women sought further opportunities and advancements in the workforce. While “prolonged” does offer some sense of growth, it also implies a temporal factor associated with the jobs, which is not relevant in this context.

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's effectively asking for writing advice and style guidance. – FumbleFingers Sep 21 '17 at 12:45
  • 1- for using the phrase "the dictionary" when you mean to say "a dictionary". I'm sure you could find a dictionary, if you looked, that defines expanded as a figurative usage whose meaning is "increased" or "more varied". "Expanded opportunities" would mean "a greater number and variety of opportunities". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 21 '17 at 15:04
  • I will give you +1 for all of the relevant context you've included and for including your thinking about why expanded doesn't seem like a good choice. – ColleenV Sep 21 '17 at 16:18
  • 1
    collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/expanded "Increased in size, area, scope [my emphasis], etc" – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 21 '17 at 16:21
  • 2
    @Tᴚoɯɐuo Fair enough. On the other hand though, it's OK for people to ask a question they think might be helpful to future visitors even if they know the answer to it. I don't know if this question is the perfect example of that, but I do still appreciate the amount of context that was given and would like to see more questions include what definitions the author believes apply and this amount of context about the source of the question. – ColleenV Sep 21 '17 at 16:43

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