- increased, as in size, volume, etc.; expanded; dilated: the distended nostrils of the terrified horse.
- swollen, by or as by internal pressure, out of normal size or shape; protuberant: distended wineskins; the distended arteries of his neck.
Origin of distended
- to expand by stretching, as something hollow or elastic: Habitual overeating had distended his stomach.
- to spread in all directions; expand; swell: The sea distended about them.
Origin of distend
1375–1425; late Middle English (< Anglo-French destendre) < Latin distendere, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + tendere to stretch
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. See expand. 1, 2. enlarge, bloat.
1, 2. shrink, contract.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for distended
I spin the finest wool of our flocks, and drain the distended udders of our cows.Imogen
The horse, with lathering neck and distended nostrils, paused before them.The Plunderer
Mills emitted an enormous cloud of smoke out of his distended cheeks.The Arrow of Gold
They shuddered, whinnied, glared with distended, bloodshot eyes.The Long Roll
To begin with he distended himself so that he could not sink at all."Wee Tim'rous Beasties"
- to expand or be expanded by or as if by pressure from within; swell; inflate
- (tr) to stretch out or extend
- (tr) to magnify in importance; exaggerate
C14: from Latin distendere, from dis- 1 + tendere to stretch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for distended
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- To swell out or expand or cause to swell out or expand from or as if from internal pressure.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.