American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To swell out or expand from or as if from internal pressure.
- v. To cause to expand by or as if by internal pressure; dilate.
- v. To extend.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To stretch or spread in all directions; dilate; expand; swell out; enlarge: as, to distend a bladder; to distend the lungs.
- To stretch in any direction; extend.
- To widen; spread apart.
- To become distended; swell.
- v. intransitive To extend or expand, as from internal pressure; to swell
- v. transitive, reflexive, archaic To extend; to stretch out; to spread out.
- v. transitive To cause to swell.
- v. biology To cause gravidity.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. rare To extend in some one direction; to lengthen out; to stretch.
- v. To stretch out or extend in all directions; to dilate; to enlarge, as by elasticity of parts; to inflate so as to produce tension; to cause to swell
- v. To become expanded or inflated; to swell.
- v. become wider
- v. cause to expand as it by internal pressure
- v. swell from or as if from internal pressure
- Middle English distenden, from Latin distendere : dis-, dis- + tendere, to stretch; see ten- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The history of the word "distend" stretches back to the Latin verb "tendere”
“When my moose-meat spluttered rowdily in the frying-pan, I noticed old Ebbits's nostrils twitch and distend as he caught the food-scent.”
“The Aspen Ideas Festival is underway at the Aspen Institute and that means the average Joe and Jane Soave Bolla can gorge on the newer new thing until their stomachs distend into the 21st Century.”
“Her nostrils distend with the memory of cherished scents.”
“In an age when the Air Force budget looks to increase only marginally, if at all, while simultaneously planning to buy several other major aircraft (new aerial tankers, new transports, new heavy bombers, and new helicopters), this plan to distend the fighter-bomber budget is a fool's errand.”
“It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent.”
“In a new study awaiting publication, Dr. Leung reports that pumping in water instead of air to distend the colon is more comfortable for patients, resulting in a success rate of 97%.”
“During the procedure, air is pumped into the colon to distend it and make it easier for the gastroenterologist to see.”
“Shagram stare with his eyes, distend his nostrils, and tremble with terror, hinted that “he surely saw more than they could see.””
“Dr. Paul E. Greene called the uncontrollable movements developed by some patients as â€œabsolutely devastating. â€ He said, â€œThey chew constantly, their fingers go up and down, their writs flex and distend.”
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