ex·​tend | \ ik-ˈstend How to pronounce extend (audio) \
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 How to pronounce extend (audio) \ noun
extendable or less commonly extendible \ ik-​ˈsten-​də-​bəl How to pronounce extend (audio) \ 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 county ordinance will now extend that past August. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County passes strict eviction ban, rent cap to ease strain on renters during pandemic," 4 May 2021 Construction is currently underway on tollway service roads, which will extend north of U.S. 380 to Celina and eventually Gunter. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Big land sale pushes Dallas-area growth further north," 3 May 2021 The Yard Goats will play most of their games within their division, including Binghamton (Mets affiliate), Somerset (Yankees), Portland (Red Sox), New Hampshire (Blue Jays) and Reading (Phillies), and series will extend to six games. Dom Amore, courant.com, "A fan’s guide to the 2021 Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball season," 3 May 2021 The law will extend driving privileges to about 400,000 of New Jersey’s estimated 475,000 undocumented immigrants, the commission anticipates. Monsy Alvarado, USA TODAY, "New Jersey set to open up driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, joining more than a dozen states," 27 Apr. 2021 While the Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s 210,000 hard-working honeybees might be getting the most buzz this Earth Day, the beekeeping initiative is one that Mandarin Oriental will extend to all of its properties worldwide. Elizabeth Brownfield, Forbes, "For Earth Day, Mandarin Oriental Miami Increases Its Rooftop Honeybee Population And Launches Honey-Centric Guest Experiences," 21 Apr. 2021 Wanted in Rome reports that the work will not extend to the feline sanctuary, which is situated below street level in a corner of the square. Gia Yetikyel, Smithsonian Magazine, "Site of Julius Caesar’s Assassination Will Be Transformed Into Open-Air Museum," 20 Apr. 2021 Officially kicking off its centennial celebrations last fall, Cleveland Heights launched its All Are Welcome campaign throughout the city with window displays, bus wraps, videos and discussions on social media, which will extend throughout the year. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Cleveland Heights celebrates centennial throughout 2021," 19 Apr. 2021 The Murray Avenue Trail will eventually extend eastward to connect with Wasson Way at Ault Park. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Wasson Way extension gets $500,000 assist from the state," 19 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for extend

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for extend

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Extend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extend. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce extend (audio) \
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 How to pronounce extend (audio) \

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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