• synonyms


[dil-uh-tey-shuh n, dahy-luh-]
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  1. a dilated formation or part.
  2. Pathology. an abnormal enlargement of an aperture or a canal of the body.
  3. Surgery.
    1. an enlargement made in a body aperture or canal for surgical or medical treatment.
    2. a restoration to normal patency of an abnormally small body opening or passageway, as of the anus or esophagus.
  4. Mechanics. the increase in volume per unit volume of a homogeneous substance.
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Also dilation.

Origin of dilatation

1350–1400; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin dīlātātiōn- (stem of dīlātātiō), equivalent to dīlātāt(us) spread out (past participle of dīlātāre to dilate) + iōn- -ion
Related formsdil·a·ta·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for dilatation

Historical Examples

  • It seems to be as applicable to the dilatation of the heart, as to that of an artery.

    Cases of Organic Diseases of the Heart

    John Collins Warren

  • In these cases the tubular form may rather be due to dilatation than to cohesion.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters

  • There may be dilatation of the pupil, but this is not seen in all.

  • The systole of the heart means its contraction: the diastole of the heart means its dilatation.

    William Harvey

    D'Arcy Powers

  • By compression or dilatation, they are changed to double refractors of light.

Word Origin and History for dilatation


c.1400, from Old French dilatation, from Late Latin dilatationem (nominative dilatatio) "a widening," from past participle stem of Latin dilatare (see dilate).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dilatation in Medicine


(dĭl′ə-tāshən, dī′lə-)
  1. Physiological, pathological, or artificial enlargement of a cavity, canal, blood vessel, or opening.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.