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

Politicians of both parties would rather prolong the stalemate than seek solutions. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Ideas on immigration and bi-partisanship applauded," 25 July 2019 The money raised by Live Aid, for instance, was mostly used by the Ethiopian dictator at the time to further crush his opposition, ultimately prolonging the country’s crisis. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz Africa, "How Bob Geldof’s African investment fund avoids paying taxes to some of the continent’s poorest countries," 22 July 2019 The national conversation surrounding aspirin began last year when a large clinical trial in Australia found that a daily low-dose aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy, elderly people. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Should you take a daily aspirin or not? What doctors are saying," 23 July 2019 Mark Battled cancer the last few years of his life and his mother Beverly who is in her 80's, took care of him every step of the way and prolonged his life., "Mark J. Liappes," 21 July 2019 Please join us in congratulating Deputy Kimbro for his gallant actions that prolonged human life. Joelle Goldstein,, "Police Officer Saves 12-Day-Old Baby's Life After Newborn Stopped Breathing During Traffic Stop," 12 July 2019 This can help prevent mold and mildew, prolonging the life of your mat. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "Here's How Often You Should Really Clean Your Yoga Mat," 12 Apr. 2019 In the case of Charlie Gard, the 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. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "British Child at Center of Legal Battle Over Life Support Dies," 28 Apr. 2018 Huberty asked, going on to question whether sales might be slumping due to higher prices or Apple’s recent decision to charge $29 to replace batteries in older iPhones and perhaps prolonging their useful life. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "How Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri Gave Apple a $50 Billion Boost," 2 Feb. 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

15 Aug 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

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