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 upondilating 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 It is also used clinically as a gas to selectively dilate the pulmonary arteries in newborns with pulmonary hypertension. The Conversation, oregonlive, "The science behind why this is the safest way to breathe to avoid coronavirus," 19 June 2020 It is also used clinically as a gas to selectively dilate the pulmonary arteries in newborns with pulmonary hypertension. The Conversation, "The right way to breathe during the coronavirus pandemic," 19 June 2020 The outer layer of the fingerlike gripper expanded when the temperature increased, causing the pores to dilate and vent the fluid (above). Meagan Cantwell, Science | AAAS, "These sweaty robots cool themselves faster than humans," 29 Jan. 2020 When those arteries leading to the heart are dilated, children are more at risk of developing clots that can burst and potentially lead to a heart attack. Anchorage Daily News, "Children are falling ill with a mysterious inflammatory syndrome thought linked to COVID-19," 6 May 2020 True labor begins with the first stage of labor, when regular contractions increase in intensity until the cervix dilates to 10 centimeters. Patricia Waldron, New York Times, "What to Expect During the Three Stages of Labor," 18 Apr. 2020 The mushrooms typically don't produce lingering side effects; henbane does, including headache, dilated pupils, and blurred vision. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Viking berserkers may have used henbane to induce trance-like state," 18 Sep. 2019 The saturated blue night sky dilates rapidly to chambray like an old TV coming to life. Amy Thielen, Saveur, "A Midwestern Hunter’s Thanksgiving," 15 Nov. 2016 This could happen for a variety of reasons, including having contractions that aren’t strong enough; a cervix that’s stopped dilating; or a baby that is not descending down the birth canal despite pushing. New York Times, "5 Common Childbirth Complications," 18 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for dilate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dilate

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dilate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dilate. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dilate

dilate

verb
How to pronounce dilate (audio) How to pronounce dilate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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