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verb (used with object)
  1. to stretch out; draw out to the full length: He extended the measuring tape as far as it would go.
  2. to stretch, draw, or arrange in a given direction, or so as to reach a particular point, as a cord, wall, or line of troops.
  3. to stretch forth or hold out, as the arm or hand: to extend one's hand in greeting.
  4. to place at full length, especially horizontally, as the body or limbs.
  5. to increase the length or duration of; lengthen; prolong: to extend a visit.
  6. to stretch out in various or all directions; expand; spread out in area: A huge tent was extended over the field.
  7. to enlarge the scope of, or make more comprehensive, as operations, influence, or meaning: The European powers extended their authority in Asia.
  8. to provide as an offer or grant; offer; grant; give: to extend aid to needy scholars.
  9. Finance. to postpone (the payment of a debt) beyond the time originally agreed upon.
  10. to increase the bulk or volume of, especially by adding an inexpensive or plentiful substance.
  11. Bookkeeping. to transfer (figures) from one column to another.
  12. Law.
    1. British.to assess or value.
    2. to make a seizure or levy upon, as land, by a writ of extent.
  13. Manège. to bring (a horse) into an extended attitude.
  14. to exert (oneself) to an unusual degree.
  15. Archaic. to exaggerate.
  16. Obsolete. to take by seizure.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to be or become extended; stretch out in length, duration, or in various or all directions.
  2. to reach, as to a particular point.
  3. to increase in length, area, scope, etc.
  4. Manège. (of a horse) to come into an extended attitude.
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Origin of extend

1250–1300; Middle English extenden < Latin extendere to stretch out. See ex-1, tend1
Related formsex·tend·i·ble, ex·tend·a·ble, adjectiveex·tend·i·bil·i·ty, ex·tend·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·ex·tend·i·ble, adjectivenon·ex·tend·i·ble·ness, nounpre·ex·tend, verbsu·per·ex·tend, verbun·ex·tend·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·tend·i·ble, adjective

Synonyms for extend

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
5. continue. See lengthen. 6. enlarge; widen, dilate. 8. bestow, impart.

Antonyms for extend

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for extending

continuing, approaching, spanning, ranging, continual, continuous, endless, perpetual

Examples from the Web for extending

Contemporary Examples of extending

Historical Examples of extending

  • "I cannot tell you how sorry I am that you are going away," she said, softly, extending her hand.

  • Another road, extending from Callao to San Mateo, was opened in 1876.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • He was extending a hand that Dean Rawson had to reach for blindly.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • He was aware of them, too, ahead of him, extending in the gloom indefinitely.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • In short, she was sinking, and as she sank lower and lower she talked of extending her business.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for extending


  1. to draw out or be drawn out; stretch
  2. to last for a certain timehis schooling extended for three years
  3. (intr) to reach a certain point in time or distancethe land extends five miles
  4. (intr) to exist or occurthe trees extended throughout the area
  5. (tr) to increase (a building, etc) in size or area; add to or enlarge
  6. (tr) to broaden the meaning or scope ofthe law was extended
  7. (tr) to put forth, present, or offerto extend greetings
  8. to stretch forth (an arm, etc)
  9. (tr) to lay out (a body) at full length
  10. (tr) to strain or exert (a person or animal) to the maximum
  11. (tr) to prolong (the time originally set) for payment of (a debt or loan), completion of (a task), etc
  12. (tr) accounting
    1. to carry forward
    2. to calculate the amount of (a total, balance, etc)
  13. (tr) law (formerly in England) to value or assess (land)
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Derived Formsextendible or extendable, adjectiveextendibility or extendability, noun

Word Origin for extend

C14: from Latin extendere to stretch out, from 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 extending



early 14c., "to value, assess;" late 14c. "to stretch out, lengthen," from Anglo-French estendre (late 13c.), Old French estendre "stretch out, extend, increase," from Latin extendere "stretch out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Related: Extended; extending.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

extending in Medicine


  1. To straighten a limb; unbend.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.