ex·tend | \ik-ˈstend \
extended; extending; extends

Definition of extend 

transitive verb

1 : to spread or stretch forth : unbend extended both her arms

2a : to stretch out to fullest length

b : to cause (an animal, such as a horse) to move at full stride

c : to exert (oneself) to full capacity could work long and hard without seeming to extend himself

d(1) : to increase the bulk of (as by adding a cheaper substance or a modifier)

(2) : adulterate

3 [ Middle English, from Medieval Latin extendere (from Latin) or Anglo-French estendre, from Old French ]

a British : to take possession of (something, such as land) by a writ of extent

b obsolete : to take by force

4a : to make the offer of : proffer extending aid to the needy extending their greetings

b : to make available extending credit to customers

5a : to cause to reach (as in distance or scope) national authority was extended over new territories

b : to cause to be longer : prolong extend the side of a triangle extended their visit another day also : to prolong the time of payment of

c : advance, further extending her potential through job training

6a : to cause to be of greater area or volume : enlarge extended the patio to the back of the house

b : to increase the scope, meaning, or application of : broaden beauty, I suppose, opens the heart, extends the consciousness— Algernon Blackwood

c archaic : exaggerate

intransitive verb

1 : to stretch out in distance, space, or time : reach their jurisdiction extended over the whole area

2 : to reach in scope or application his concern extends beyond mere business to real service to his customers

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Other Words from extend

extendability \ik-ˌsten-də-ˈbi-lə-tē \ noun
extendable or less commonly extendible \ik-ˈsten-də-bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for extend

extend, lengthen, prolong, protract mean to draw out or add to so as to increase in length. extend and lengthen imply a drawing out in space or time but extend may also imply increase in width, scope, area, or range. extend a vacation extend welfare services lengthen a skirt lengthen the workweek prolong suggests chiefly increase in duration especially beyond usual limits. prolonged illness protract adds to prolong implications of needlessness, vexation, or indefiniteness. protracted litigation

Examples of extend in a Sentence

He extended a hand in greeting. sitting with both legs fully extended The table measures eight feet long when it is fully extended. The table extends to eight feet in length. The woods extend for miles to the west. Their knowledge of the family's history extends back to colonial times. Their influence extends well beyond their immediate circle of friends. His popularity extends from coast to coast.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Ariel has a mostly mesh back-panel fabric that extends into the hipbelt. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 The acquisition put Lilis in the Delaware Basin, the less developed western lobe of the Permian that extends into New Mexico. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "Lilis may be an acquisition target," 13 July 2018 Stir’s centerpiece will be a striking sculptural element, shaped in Douglas fir and flowing in form, that extends across the ceiling above the main dining room. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Architect Frank Gehry to design Art Museum restaurant," 10 July 2018 That Gothic edge was evoked again in the finale wedding dress, with the bride in a magnificent mantilla that extended into a cape. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Paris Couture Week: Elie Saab Says 'Ole,' Viktor & Rolf Say 'Remember When?'," 5 July 2018 All bodies need to be included in the movement toward inclusivity in fashion, and that extends to menswear, too. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "There Was Only One Plus Size Model During Men's Fashion Week," 13 July 2018 The regulations adopted Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission basically extend to PG&E and Edison the same rules the commission already applied to San Diego. David R. Baker, SFChronicle.com, "To prevent fires, California sets new rules for shutting off power lines," 12 July 2018 In fact, the killer grooves extend to Knowles Lawson’s granddaughter as well. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Tina Knowles Lawson Shows Off Her Dance Moves to Daughter Beyoncé's New Song in Cute Clips," 11 July 2018 The McDonald's decision does not extend to its other global restaurants, however. Alana Wise And Caroline Hroncich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Starbucks to phase out plastic straws by 2020," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extend.' 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 extend

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for extend

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French estendre, from Latin extendere, from ex- + tendere to stretch — more at thin

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Phrases Related to extend

extend oneself

Statistics for extend

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for extend

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

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More Definitions for extend



English Language Learners Definition of extend

: to cause (something, such as your arm or leg) to straighten out or to stretch out

: to become longer or to be able to become longer

: to continue in a specified direction or over a specified distance, space, or time


ex·tend | \ik-ˈstend \
extended; extending

Kids Definition of extend

1 : to hold out extend a hand

2 : to stretch out or across something There was no way of going around it, for it seemed to extend … as far as they could see …— L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

3 : to make longer extend a visit

4 : stretch entry 1 sense 2 extend a sail

5 : enlarge extend the meaning of a word

ex·tend | \ik-ˈstend \

Medical Definition of extend 

1 : to straighten out (as an arm or leg)

2 : to increase the quantity or bulk of (as by adding a cheaper substance or a modifier) extending ground meat with cereal also : adulterate

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Comments on extend

What made you want to look up extend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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