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 prolong (audio) , prə-​ How to pronounce prolong (audio) \ noun
prolonger \ prə-​ˈlȯŋ-​ər How to pronounce prolong (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 Oregonians with compromised immune systems appear to be at the front of the line to receive booster shots against COVID-19 as part of a nationwide push to prolong immunity in the battle against the highly contagious delta variant. oregonlive, 17 Aug. 2021 And emergency programs are even more susceptible, due to the inherent tension between the pressure to approve loans quickly and the need to screen applications and maintain other fraud-prevention measures that may prolong the process. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, 5 Aug. 2021 Durant tried to prolong it again, dribbling up the floor and running down the clock before launching a long look that came up well short. Brian Mahoney, Chron, 20 June 2021 There are fears this suspension will further prolong Italy’s lockdown, continue to leave high-risk members of the population in danger of infection, and bolster anti-vaxx stances. Rebecca Ann Hughes, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 Opponents have claimed it was rigged to prolong his now 27 years in power. NBC News, 11 Aug. 2021 Our collective national choice not to protect the most vulnerable among us is also likely a choice to prolong the pandemic. Tara Haelle, Wired, 5 Aug. 2021 Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has previously called for Mr. Biden to extend renter protections, and Representative Maxine Waters has been pushing the administration to prolong the eviction ban, Politico reported. CBS News, 29 July 2021 But the good financial news was tempered by the surging Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is spreading around the globe, threatening to prolong the ripple effects of the global pandemic. Washington Post, 27 July 2021

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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Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prolong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on prolong

Nglish: Translation of prolong for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prolong for Arabic Speakers


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