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.
Origin of distend
1375–1425; late Middle EnglishRelated formsdis·tend·er, nouno·ver·dis·tend, verbun·dis·tend, verb (used with object)
(< Anglo-French destendre
) < Latin distendere,
equivalent to dis- dis-1
Synonyms for distend
. See expand
. 1, 2
. enlarge, bloat.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for distendwiden
Examples from the Web for distend
Historical Examples of distend
You will find it impossible to breathe, for the muscles of your chest will distend the ribs.
All the blood in him seemed to rush to his head and distend the veins there.
To distend is to stretch apart or spread in all directions; to dilate, to expand.
Furl—To roll up and make sails fast so that the wind cannot distend them.
He could talk now, could distend his nerves in the warm air of her sympathy.
British Dictionary definitions for distend
Derived Formsdistender, noundistensible, adjectivedistensibility, noundistension or distention, noun
to expand or be expanded by or as if by pressure from within; swell; inflate
(tr) to stretch out or extend
(tr) to magnify in importance; exaggerate
Word Origin for distend
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
Word Origin and History for distend
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
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.