[ dahy-leyt, dih-, dahy-leyt ]
See synonyms for: dilatedilateddilatable on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),di·lat·ed, di·lat·ing.
  1. to make wider or larger; cause to expand.

  2. Archaic. to describe or develop at length.

verb (used without object),di·lat·ed, di·lat·ing.
  1. to spread out; expand.

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

Origin of dilate

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English dilaten, from Middle French dilater, “to comment at length, enlarge,” from Latin dīlātāre “to spread out, widen,” equivalent to dī- di-2 + lāt(us) “wide” + -āre infinitive suffix

synonym study For dilate

1. See expand.

Other words from dilate

  • di·lat·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • di·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • non·di·lat·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • non·di·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • o·ver·di·late, verb, o·ver·di·lat·ed, o·ver·di·lat·ing.
  • re·di·late, verb, re·di·lat·ed, re·di·lat·ing.
  • self-di·lat·ed, adjective
  • sub·di·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·di·lat·a·ble, adjective
  • un·di·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·di·lat·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with dilate

Words Nearby dilate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dilate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dilate


/ (daɪˈleɪt, dɪ-) /

  1. to expand or cause to expand; make or become wider or larger: the pupil of the eye dilates in the dark

  2. (intr; often foll by on or upon) to speak or write at length; expand or enlarge

Origin of dilate

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

Derived forms of dilate

  • dilatable, adjective
  • dilatability or dilatableness, noun
  • dilation or dilatation (ˌdaɪləˈteɪʃən, ˌdɪ-), noun
  • dilatational, adjective
  • dilative (daɪˈleɪtɪv, dɪ-), adjective

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