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 breath quickens, the pupils dilate, the heart begins to pound. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Fight or Flight May Be In Our Bones," 12 Sep. 2019 Midwives, Doulas and Photographers At 9 centimeters dilated, Terra Hall’s first priority was the epidural. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Today: When a home means abandoning your past," 16 Aug. 2019 The three-millimeter-long maggot bends at its middle, latches its upper body to its rear end and dilates its lower half to increase the tension on that latch. Scientific American, "Ballistic Maggots, Synthetic Winks and Why You’re Not Goop: This Week’s Best Science GIFs," 9 Aug. 2019 The woman driver smelled of an alcoholic beverage, her eyes were glassy and dilated and her cheeks were flushed, according to police. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Drunken driving crash suspect leaves bumper behind: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 21 July 2019 Vision to Learn avoids using eye drops to dilate the eyes or other invasive procedures, and the organization refers about 10 percent of children to external doctors to be treated for more serious conditions. Marisa Iati, Washington Post, "A mobile clinic is helping low-income students to see clearly — one pair of glasses at a time.," 10 July 2019 Ninety minutes later, the students’ arteries were measured to test their ability to bounce back—or dilate—after being compressed by a blood pressure cuff. Sara Talpos, Quartz, "The dangers of energy drinks can be fatal—especially for teens," 10 July 2019 In older adults, even healthy ones, blood vessels may not dilate efficiently. Michele Cohen Marill, WIRED, "How Extreme Heat Overwhelms Your Body and Becomes Deadly," 3 July 2019 Zhukovskyy was unsteady on his feet and his pupils were dilated, Dorris said. Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "Video shows recent drug charge arrest of truck driver charged in deadly N.H. crash," 27 June 2019

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

25 Sep 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

Comments on dilate

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