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

Officially, the May 2019 Update (aka ‘19H1’) will be pushed to all PCs in late May—the idea being that Microsoft has prolonged its final beta period for a month. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Windows 10 May 2019 Update can be downloaded now: Here's how," 8 Apr. 2019 The Frenchman, who featured alongside Ronaldo during their time together at Manchester United, joined the Bianconeri as the twilight years of his career started to close in, something which Evra credits for prolonging his time on the pitch., "Cristiano Ronaldo Urged by Former Teammate to Join Juventus in Order to Prolong His Career," 9 July 2018 The combination of epacadostat and Keytruda did not delay the growth of cancer or prolong survival compared to Keytruda and a placebo in melanoma patients, Incyte and Merck said. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Incyte’s cancer drug fails trial, marking major blow for immunotherapy combination treatment," 6 Apr. 2018 Rice also said some judges reported some police officers’ request to be called last to testify, therefore prolonging their time on the clock. Chris Palmer,, "Philly cops waiting to testify in court cost city millions in OT," 3 Apr. 2018 That is consistent with entering a transition period, but not with prolonging membership by extending Article 50. The Economist, "AdriftTheresa May’s sea of troubles over Brexit," 1 Feb. 2018 Charlie's parents ultimately gave up their fight to take the baby to the U.S. for experimental therapy to prolong his life, saying there wasn't a realistic chance of saving him. The Washington Post,, "Alfie Evans dies: British toddler was at center of legal battle," 28 Apr. 2018 Then again, Democrats may want to prolong premium pain so Republicans are blamed in the fall. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The GOP’s Clean Bills of Health Savings," 29 July 2018 Seoul and Washington describe the move as a temporary measure to prolong ongoing detente on the Korean Peninsula and increase the chances of successful nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. Fox News, "Halting S.Korea-US drills risks weakening N.Korea deterrence," 19 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

23 May 2019

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 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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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

What made you want to look up prolong? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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