dilate

verb
di·​late | \ ˈdī-ˌlāt How to pronounce dilate (audio) , dī-ˈlāt How to pronounce dilate (audio) \
dilated; dilating

Definition of dilate

intransitive verb

1 : to become wide : swell the pupil of the eye dilates and contracts
2 : to comment at length : discourse usually used with on or upon dilating upon themes of love and death

transitive verb

1 : to enlarge or expand in bulk or extent : distend, widen dilate our cultural knowledge … long after Italian women used drops of belladonna to artificially dilate their pupils.— Michael H. Robinson
2 archaic : to describe or set forth at length or in detail dilate at full what hath befallen of them— Shakespeare

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Other Words from dilate

dilatability \ (ˌ)dī-​ˌlā-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce dilatability (audio) \ noun
dilatable \ dī-​ˈlā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce dilatable (audio) , ˈdī-​ˌlā-​ How to pronounce dilatable (audio) \ adjective
dilator \ dī-​ˈlā-​tər How to pronounce dilator (audio) , ˈdī-​ˌlā-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dilate

expand, amplify, swell, distend, inflate, dilate mean to increase in size or volume. expand may apply regardless of the manner of increase (such as growth, unfolding, addition of parts). a business that expands every year amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate. amplify the statement with details swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits. the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within. a distended abdomen inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a vulnerability to sudden collapse. an inflated ego dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference. dilated pupils

Examples of dilate in a Sentence

The drug causes the blood vessels to dilate. During labor, a woman's cervix will dilate to about 10 centimeters. The drug dilates the blood vessels.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The procedure involves dilating your cervix to remove tissue from the lining of your uterus. Korin Miller, SELF, "NHL Star Erik Karlsson and His Wife Lost Their Son a Month Before He Was Due," 22 Mar. 2018 Normally, your blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow in response to changing conditions, like fluctuations in temperature or physical exertion. Nadia Berenstein, SELF, "Holiday Parties Bring Out the Worst of My Rosacea," 19 Dec. 2018 Breaking a sweat can help relieve stress, which also dilates your mood vessels and can cause skin problems. Mona Gohara, Good Housekeeping, "6 Reasons Why Your Skin Is Blotchy — And How to Fix It," 13 Dec. 2018 Chyla also notes that exposing your skin to wildly different temperatures can dilate the skin's blood vessels and exacerbate rosacea. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "How to Fight Acne and Dry Skin in Winter," 13 Nov. 2018 The state requires across-the-board EKGs, dilated eye exams and a brain CT or MRI scan within five years of a fight. Drew Hill, The Courier-Journal, "At least 6 MMA fighters have died while in the ring or shortly after," 21 June 2018 The thinking at the time was that loss of serotonin caused blood vessels to lose tone and dilate, bringing on migraine pain. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017 Also, sometimes because of environmental changes, like a lower amount of light , a venomous snake’s eyes can dilate, making them round. Shelia Poole, ajc, "7 most common myths about snakes," 5 June 2018 The thinking is that activity in certain nerve cells makes blood vessels in your brain dilate and also causes a release of inflammatory substances like prostaglandins, which can create pain. Korin Miller, SELF, "9 Health Issues That Can Cause Sensitivity to Light," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dilate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dilate

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for dilate

Middle English, from Middle French dilater, from Latin dilatare, literally, to spread wide, from dis- + latus wide — more at latitude

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Statistics for dilate

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dilate

The first known use of dilate was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for dilate

dilate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dilate

: to become larger or wider

dilate

verb
di·​late | \ dī-ˈlāt How to pronounce dilate (audio) \
dilated; dilating

Kids Definition of dilate

: to make or grow larger or wider Her pupils dilated in the dark.

dilate

verb
di·​late | \ dī-ˈlāt How to pronounce dilate (audio) , ˈdī-ˌ How to pronounce dilate (audio) \
dilated; dilating

Medical Definition of dilate

transitive verb

: to enlarge, stretch, or cause to expand dilate his pupils with atropine the drug dilates peripheral arteries

intransitive verb

: to become expanded or swollen the cervix was dilating the pupils dilated

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More from Merriam-Webster on dilate

Spanish Central: Translation of dilate

Nglish: Translation of dilate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dilate for Arabic Speakers

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