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90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-sten-did] /dɪˈstɛn dɪd/
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
First recorded in 1590-1600; distend + -ed2
Related forms
distendedly, adverb
distendedness, noun


[dih-stend] /dɪˈstɛnd/
verb (used with or without object)
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.
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Anglo-French destendre) < Latin distendere, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + tendere to stretch
Related forms
distender, noun
overdistend, verb
undistend, verb (used with object)
1. See expand. 1, 2. enlarge, bloat.
1, 2. shrink, contract. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for distended
Historical Examples
  • Eyes, nose, and mouth, were all distended until the very paint broke in scales upon his face.

  • He stared at the lovely apparition with fixed eyes and distended jaws.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Grizel dropped her hands on to the table, and stared with distended eyes.

    An Unknown Lover Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • Fido, with burning eyes and distended jaws, ran and yelped as if he were mad.

  • Several times (Dr. 12b and 13b) he is represented apparently with distended abdomen.

  • The horse, with lathering neck and distended nostrils, paused before them.

    The Plunderer Roy Norton
  • Spotted about the street were goats, their distended udders almost trailing on the ground.

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon
  • Mills emitted an enormous cloud of smoke out of his distended cheeks.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • The boy, listening, turned fearfully around, looking with distended eyes into mine.

  • Mr. Pimble continued to stare on the woman, with distended eyeballs.

    Eventide Effie Afton
British Dictionary definitions for distended


to expand or be expanded by or as if by pressure from within; swell; inflate
(transitive) to stretch out or extend
(transitive) to magnify in importance; exaggerate
Derived Forms
distender, noun
distensible, adjective
distensibility, noun
distension, distention, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for distended



c.1400, from Latin distendere "to swell or stretch out, extend," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Related: Distended; distending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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distended in Medicine

distend di·stend (dĭ-stěnd')
v. dis·tend·ed, dis·tend·ing, dis·tends
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.
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