length·en | \ ˈleŋ(k)-thən , ˈlen(t)- \
lengthened; lengthening\ˈleŋ(k)th-niŋ, ˈlen(t)th-; ˈleŋ(k)-thə-, ˈlen(t)- \

Definition of lengthen 

transitive verb

: to make longer

intransitive verb

: to grow longer

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Other words from lengthen

lengthener \ˈleŋ(k)th-nər, ˈlen(t)th-; ˈleŋ(k)-thə-, ˈlen(t)- \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lengthen

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 lengthen in a Sentence

The days lengthened with the approach of spring. Proper care will lengthen the life of the engine. lengthen a pair of trousers
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Recent Examples on the Web

Gold hardware provided an elevated contrast, while suede pumps further lengthened the First Lady's famous legs. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Brigitte Macron Wears (What Else?) Louis Vuitton for the NATO Spouse Summit," 12 July 2018 Despite these warnings, modest fixes are available, including making small changes in the age of eligibility that recognize lengthening life spans. The Christian Science Monitor, "Shifting views of seniors: less burden, more asset," 27 June 2018 What could be more ladylike than the way a pair of stilettos or pumps or even wedges can lengthen the leg and swagger the hips and add an element of danger to the ground beneath one’s feet? Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "What High Heels Can Teach About Gendered ‘Truths’," 26 June 2018 In fact, days are lengthening by only 1.8 milliseconds a century, said Stephen Meyers, a geoscientist at the University of Wisconsin and a co-author of the study. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Days on Earth are getting longer, but don't get too excited," 26 June 2018 Donna Thomas says some fellow bus riders lost jobs for tardiness after the new bus routes lengthened their commutes. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "After one year of BaltimoreLink, ridership has bounced back, but reliability remains below goals," 15 June 2018 Nearing the far turn, Sham had no more and Secretariat started lengthening his lead. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Secretariat and Citation top Triple Crown rankings," 9 June 2018 All of these measures lengthened what could have been a construction timeline of one year, Mr. Zirkel said. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "In the Botanical Garden, Construction Workers Tiptoe Quietly," 6 May 2018 There isn’t much going on until the soil warms up a bit and the days begin to lengthen. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "There's no such thing as 'average' Kentucky weather. And trees hate that," 13 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for lengthen

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lengthen

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

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More Definitions for lengthen



English Language Learners Definition of lengthen

: to become longer

: to make (something) longer


length·en | \ ˈleŋ-thən \
lengthened; lengthening

Kids Definition of lengthen

: to make or become longer lengthen a dress

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More from Merriam-Webster on lengthen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lengthen

Spanish Central: Translation of lengthen

Nglish: Translation of lengthen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lengthen for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lengthen

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a magnificent or impressive array

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