[ dahy-leyt, di-, dahy-leyt ]
/ daɪˈleɪt, dɪ-, ˈdaɪ leɪt /

verb (used with object), di·lat·ed, di·lat·ing.

to make wider or larger; cause to expand.
Archaic. to describe or develop at length.

verb (used without object), di·lat·ed, di·lat·ing.

to spread out; expand.
to speak or write at length; expatiate (often followed by on or upon).

Nearby words

  1. dilatant,
  2. dilatate,
  3. dilatation,
  4. dilatation and curettage,
  5. dilatator,
  6. dilation,
  7. dilation and curettage,
  8. dilation and evacuation,
  9. dilation and extraction,
  10. dilative

Origin of dilate

1350–1400; Middle English dilaten < Middle French dilater, Latin dīlātāre to spread out, equivalent to dī- di-2 + lāt(us) broad + -āre infinitive suffix

Related forms
Can be confuseddilate dilute

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dilate

British Dictionary definitions for dilate


/ (daɪˈleɪt, dɪ-) /


to expand or cause to expand; make or become wider or largerthe pupil of the eye dilates in the dark
(intr; often foll by on or upon) to speak or write at length; expand or enlarge
Derived Forms

Word Origin for dilate

C14: from Latin dīlātāre to spread out, amplify, from dis- apart + lātus wide

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 dilate



late 14c., from Old French dilater, from Late Latin dilatare "make wider, enlarge," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + latus "wide" (see latitude). Related: Dilated; dilating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for dilate


[ dī-lāt, dīlāt′ ]


To make or become wider or larger.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.