pro·​long | \prə-ˈlȯŋ \
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 , prə-​ \ noun
prolonger \ prə-​ˈlȯŋ-​ər \ 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

But the choice of Judge Kavanaugh is perhaps the most challenging of the four finalists, with lawmakers warning that his voluminous record could prolong the confirmation process, even past the November election. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Brett Kavanaugh Is Trump’s Pick for Supreme Court," 9 July 2018 His plan is to heal William enough to prolong his life and cause him greater pain (in his defense, William spent decades terrorizing everyone in Westworld). Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "'Westworld' *Finally* Explained Ghost Nation and Their Backstory is Mind-Blowing," 11 June 2018 Something is going on inside the nervous system’s pain receptors that actually prolongs pain and the desire for pain relief. Houston Chronicle, "10 steps to protect your heart, brain and body from disease and premature aging," 20 May 2018 During Friday’s meeting, Mr. Trump initially suggested engaging in a legal battle with California, a move that could prolong regulatory uncertainty auto makers want to avoid. Mike Spector, WSJ, "Trump’s California Comments Fuel Optimism Among Auto Executives," 13 May 2018 His misery was prolonged and playing time in question. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Evan Gattis' strong night leads Astros to victory against Athletics," 13 June 2018 At the same time the extension on Monday prolongs the standoff with the E.U., the world’s largest trading bloc. Fortune, "President Trump Has Delayed a Decision on Steel Tariffs as Negotiations Continue," 1 May 2018 Wednesday prolonged the imprecision that's plagued his last three outings. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros overcome 4-run deficit to defeat Rangers in 10 innings," 4 July 2018 Any adjustment would be prolonged by Mr Trump’s unpredictability. The Economist, "Could a trade war derail global growth?," 21 June 2018

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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Statistics for prolong

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prolong

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

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More Definitions for prolong



English Language Learners Definition of prolong

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


pro·​long | \prə-ˈlȯŋ \
prolonged; prolonging

Kids Definition of prolong

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on prolong

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prolong

Spanish Central: Translation of prolong

Nglish: Translation of prolong for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prolong for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prolong

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a private place of worship

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