dis·​tend·​ed di-ˈsten-dəd How to pronounce distended (audio)
: enlarged, expanded, or stretched out (as from internal pressure)
The abdomen was mildly distended with moderate tenderness …Timothy Melester et al.
Pre-Columbian jewelry worn in a large hole made in a greatly distended earlobe.H. Newman
And she began to preen herself and to rearrange her feathers, while Daggie lay down again on his distended stomach and gazed out the doorway.Dick King-Smith

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When Should You Use distended?

Before giving you a shot, the nurse may wrap a rubber tube around your upper arm to distend the veins. When the heart isn't pumping properly, the skin of the feet and ankles may become distended. A doctor who notices that an internal organ has become distended will always want to find out the cause. As you can see, distended tends to be a medical term.

Examples of distended in a Sentence

bees with abdomens distended with honey are less apt to sting
Recent Examples on the Web But for all its brawn and atmosphere and robustly choreographed combat, this is a distended historical tapestry too sprawling to remain compelling, particularly when its focus veers away from the central couple. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Chemtrails draws you into a different speed, a distended sense of time and sound. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 19 Mar. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'distended.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of distended was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near distended

Cite this Entry

“Distended.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distended. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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