from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To open or straighten (something) out; unbend: extended the legs of the folding table.
  • transitive v. To stretch or spread (something) out to greater or fullest length: extended the radio antenna.
  • transitive v. To exert (oneself) vigorously or to full capacity: Few mountain climbers have extended themselves as those two have.
  • transitive v. To cause to move at full gallop. Used of a horse.
  • transitive v. To increase in quantity or bulk by adding a cheaper substance: used rice or pasta to extend leftover casseroles.
  • transitive v. To adulterate.
  • transitive v. To enlarge the area, scope, or range of.
  • transitive v. To expand the influence of.
  • transitive v. To make more comprehensive or inclusive. See Synonyms at increase.
  • transitive v. To offer: extend one's greetings.
  • transitive v. To make available; provide: extend credit to qualified purchasers.
  • transitive v. To cause (something) to be or last longer: extended our visit by a day.
  • transitive v. To prolong the time allowed for payment of: extend a loan for three more months.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To appraise or assess; value.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To seize or make a levy on for the purpose of settling a debt.
  • intransitive v. To be or become long, large, or comprehensive: influence that extended to other continents; table legs that extend by unscrewing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To increase in extent.
  • v. To possess a certain extent.
  • v. To cause to increase in extent.
  • v. To cause to last for a longer period of time.
  • v. To straighten (a limb).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To stretch out; to prolong in space; to carry forward or continue in length
  • transitive v. To enlarge, as a surface or volume; to expand; to spread; to amplify.
  • transitive v. To enlarge; to widen; to carry out further; ; to continue, as time; to lengthen; to prolong.
  • transitive v. To hold out or reach forth, as the arm or hand.
  • transitive v. To bestow; to offer; to impart; to apply.
  • transitive v. To increase in quantity by weakening or adulterating additions.
  • transitive v. To value, as lands taken by a writ of extent in satisfaction of a debt; to assign by writ of extent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To stretch out in any direction, or in all directions; carry forward or continue in length or enlarge in area; expand or dilate: as, to extend roads, limits, or bounds; to extend the territories of a kingdom; to extend a metal plate by hammering.
  • To place horizontally, at full length.
  • To hold out or reach forth.
  • To make more comprehensive; enlarge the scope of; give a wider range to: as, to extend the sphere of usefulness; to extend commerce; to extend a treatise or a definition.
  • To continue; prolong: as, to extend the time of payment; to extend a leave of absence.
  • To hold out as a grant or concession; communicate; bestow; impart: as, to extend mercy to an offender.
  • To hold out in effort; put forth the strength or energy of: used reflexively.
  • To take by seizure; become seized of; pass by seizin or right of possession.
  • In law, to make a seizure of; fasten a process or grant upon, as lands under a writ of extent in satisfaction of a debt, or a writ of execution to levy and value.
  • To magnify; extol.
  • To plant or set out.
  • To survey; measure the extent of, as land.
  • To be stretched or drawn out; be continued in length, or in all directions; be expanded; stretch out: as, the line extends from corner to corner; the skin extends over nearly the whole body; his influence is gradually extending.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. reach outward in space
  • v. increase in quantity or bulk by adding a cheaper substance
  • v. use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity
  • v. open or straighten out; unbend
  • v. span an interval of distance, space or time
  • v. extend in scope or range or area
  • v. continue or extend
  • v. cause to move at full gallop
  • v. extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body
  • v. expand the influence of
  • v. offer verbally
  • v. stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope; run or extend between two points or beyond a certain point
  • v. make available; provide
  • v. extend or stretch out to a greater or the full length
  • v. lengthen in time; cause to be or last longer
  • v. thrust or extend out
  • v. prolong the time allowed for payment of


Middle English extenden, from Old French extendre, from Latin extendere : ex-, ex- + tendere, to stretch; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin extendō ("to stretch out"). (Wiktionary)


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  • Contronymic in the sense: make greater vs. diminish (as dilution).

    January 27, 2007