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lengthen

[lengk-thuh n, leng-, len-]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make longer; make greater in length.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become greater in length; grow long or longer.

Origin of lengthen

First recorded in 1490–1500; length + -en1
Related formslength·en·er, nounout·length·en, verb (used with object)un·length·ened, adjective

Synonyms

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1. elongate, draw out. Lengthen, extend, stretch, prolong, protract agree in the idea of making longer. To lengthen is to make longer, either in a material or an immaterial sense: to lengthen a dress. To extend is to lengthen beyond some original point or so as to reach a certain point: to extend a railway line by a hundred miles. To stretch is primarily to lengthen by drawing or tension: to stretch a rubber band. Both prolong and protract mean especially to lengthen in time, and therefore apply to intangibles. To prolong is to continue beyond the desired, estimated, or allotted time: to prolong an interview. To protract is to draw out to undue length or to be slow in coming to a conclusion: to protract a discussion.

Antonyms

1. shorten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lengthen

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Can they prolong their own possession, or lengthen his days who enjoys them?

  • The life of peace is that which men should chiefly desire to lengthen out and improve.

    Laws

    Plato

  • Sweet as parting is, I protest I, for one, would not lengthen it until to-morrow.

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

  • The campaign promised to lengthen into a month, perhaps longer.

    Wayside Courtships

    Hamlin Garland

  • The campaign promised to lengthen into a month—perhaps longer.


British Dictionary definitions for lengthen

lengthen

verb
  1. to make or become longer
Derived Formslengthener, noun
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 lengthen

v.

late 14c., from length + -en (1). Related: Lengthened; lengthening. Earlier verb was simply length (c.1300).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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