[ dih-stend ]
/ dɪˈstɛnd /

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

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English distenden (from Anglo-French destendre ), from Latin distendere, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + tendere “to stretch”

synonym study for distend

1. See expand.


dis·tend·er, nouno·ver·dis·tend, verbun·dis·tend, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for distend

British Dictionary definitions for distend

/ (dɪˈstɛnd) /


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

Derived forms of distend

distender, noundistensible, adjectivedistensibility, noundistension or distention, noun

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

Medical definitions for distend

[ dĭ-stĕnd ]


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.