pro·​long | \ prə-ˈlȯŋ How to pronounce prolong (audio) \
prolonged; prolonging; prolongs

Definition of prolong

transitive verb

1 : to lengthen in time : continue
2 : to lengthen in extent, scope, or range

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Other Words from prolong

prolongation \ (ˌ)prō-​ˌlȯŋ-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce prolongation (audio) , prə-​ How to pronounce prolongation (audio) \ noun
prolonger \ prə-​ˈlȯŋ-​ər How to pronounce prolonger (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for prolong

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 prolong in a Sentence

Additives are used to prolong the shelf life of packaged food. High interest rates were prolonging the recession.
Recent Examples on the Web As the end of summer looms, bar and restaurant owners are exploring how to prolong outdoor service into fall, or even winter, while also trying to mitigate potentially catastrophic financial fallout. Josh Noel,, "Winter patios? Dining igloos? As pandemic persists, bars and restaurants are prepping for one of the strangest winters Chicago has ever seen," 2 Sep. 2020 Military vehicles could be seen taking positions around the hotel amid the darkness of night, that officials worry could prolong the siege. Abdi Guled, Star Tribune, "10 killed in Somalia in extremist attack on Mogadishu hotel," 16 Aug. 2020 Uber, one of San Francisco’s largest employers, will allow workers to stay home until at least July 2021, joining Google in an extension of remote work that could prolong the city’s economic pain. Roland Li,, "Uber to allow work from home until July 2021, joining Google," 4 Aug. 2020 To prolong the lifespan of your brushes, Gowers also recommends giving the container that your makeup brushes sit in a clean every once in a while. Lori Keong, SELF, "How to Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes With Minimal Effort," 4 Aug. 2020 Nelson forged documents from the Mayo Clinic as part of a scheme designed to prolong the start of his upcoming trial. Chris Harris,, "Arizona Man Allegedly Faked Having Terminal Illnesses to Earn Thousands of Dollars in Donations," 1 Sep. 2020 The decision to prolong the gas plants’ lives wasn’t directly related to the recent blackouts. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "California extends lives of aging gas plants as state seeks to prevent blackouts," 1 Sep. 2020 Brown has been labeled a power-runner for the entirety of his career but having to rehab minor injuries every offseason led the 240-pound running back to slim down and increase speed in an effort to prolong his career. Evan Dudley, al, "Spencer Brown ready to finish legendary career at UAB," 31 Aug. 2020 To prolong the mask’s effectiveness and decrease its chances of being exposed to more contaminants, Knight recommends using a clean paper bag or a plastic baggie for storage. Washington Post, "FAQ: How to care for your face mask (and why you shouldn’t hang it from your rear-view mirror)," 13 Aug. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prolong

Middle English, from Middle French prolonguer, from Late Latin prolongare, from Latin pro- forward + longus long

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Time Traveler for prolong

Time Traveler

The first known use of prolong was in the 15th century

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Statistics for prolong

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prolong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for prolong


How to pronounce prolong (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prolong

: to make (something) last or continue for a longer time


pro·​long | \ prə-ˈlȯŋ How to pronounce prolong (audio) \
prolonged; prolonging

Kids Definition of prolong

: to make longer than usual or expected Medicines prolonged his life.

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Comments on prolong

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