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

Boudreaux thought about sticking with Xavier or joining Mack at Louisville, or perhaps considering other offers, likely prolonging the process. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "No culture shock: Evan Boudreaux fitting right in at Purdue after transfer from Dartmouth," 12 July 2018 Northern condemnation was all the greater because Lee had proved himself to be such a talented general, repeatedly leading his forces to victory and thereby prolonging a war that cost as many as 750,000 lives. Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, "‘The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee’ Review: The Cost of Conciliation," 12 July 2018 The partial recount, approved by Iraq’s Supreme Court last month, will further complicate the fragile postelections period and prolong the process of forming a new government. Sinan Salaheddin, The Seattle Times, "Iraq expands manual recount to 7 provinces," 9 July 2018 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 / 2:21 Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Dion Waiters’ having ankle surgery Advertisement Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra talked about dealing with Dion Waiters’ prolonged absence after choosing to undergo ankle surgery. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Heat Check mailbag: After missing out on LaVine could Tyler Johnson be a fit for Kings?," 9 July 2018 His first trial was held in April 1996 at the Tokyo District Court, but the enormous volume of evidence and the number of witnesses prolonged the trial. Washington Post,, "Japan executes Aum cult leader and six members linked to sarin gas attacks," 6 July 2018 According to Von Hep, timing your spray tan around your period can really help prolong its color. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "4 Brilliant Tricks to Keep Your Spray Tan From Fading so Damn Fast," 23 May 2018 To Elizabeth's dismay, Mary birthed a son, prolonging her family's bloodline., "Margot Robbie & Saoirse Ronan's Orange Wigs Alone Are Oscar-Worthy In Mary Queen Of Scots Trailer," 12 July 2018 But in general, the more prolonged the exposure to stress and to trauma, the worse the outcomes will be. Sara Goudarzi, Scientific American, "Separating Families May Cause Lifelong Health Damage," 20 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

12 Sep 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

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