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

As more and more consumers do their shopping on Black Friday, some retailers have extended the deals through the holiday weekend, including on Thanksgiving Day. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "70 Stores That Will Be Closed on Thanksgiving Day," 5 Oct. 2018 The consequences of those stereotypes extend across fields—not just in tennis. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Racist, Sexist History of Tennis," 18 Sep. 2018 Tiny living has been popular for a few years now, and as of late, the trend has extended into tiny Airstream living. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Couple Turns Decrepit Airstreams Into Dream Homes," 12 Sep. 2018 But special circumstances — such as coronal holes and giant explosions of solar plasma called coronal mass ejections — can extend the intensity and the reach of these dazzling light displays. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Hole in Sun's Atmosphere Amps Up Northern Lights," 11 Sep. 2018 Over the next week, slowly extend that outdoor time. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Peppers," 19 Aug. 2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune is extending its search for the best places to work in the county until Aug. 10 for nomination submissions. U-t Staff, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Top Workplaces deadline is extended," 12 July 2018 As with last year’s Home (Peace of Coal), most of his bands feature top-notch improvisational voices from the local scene who change the complexion of the music and frequently extend his songs into powerful meditations. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Caleb Willitz perpetually refines his pensive folk-rock sound by working with some of Chicago’s strongest improvisers," 12 July 2018 In the men's tournament, Roger Federer advanced to a record-extending 16th Wimbledon quarterfinal with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino of France. Mattias Karen, Houston Chronicle, "Serena Williams, Roger Federer reach Wimbledon quarterfinals," 10 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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Statistics for extend

Last Updated

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on extend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with extend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for extend

Spanish Central: Translation of extend

Nglish: Translation of extend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of extend for Arabic Speakers

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).


living or existing for a long time

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