Definition of spread

Generally, the difference between two prices or interest rates. In stock trading, the difference between the current bid and ask prices for a stock (the bid/ask or bid/offer spread). In futures trading, the price difference between delivery months for the same commodity or asset. In bond trading, the difference between yields of bonds with similar quality and different maturities, or of different quality and the same maturity. In underwriting, the difference between what the issuer receives from the underwriter and what the underwriter receives from the public (underwriting spread).