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 The wildfires drew attention to climate change, particularly its role in prolonging California's decadelong drought and killing 147 million trees, which have become prime timber. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "Fires and Flood Cap Off a Decade of U.S. Disasters," 30 Dec. 2019 McConnell has resisted making any guarantees, and has cautioned Trump against seeking the testimony of witnesses for fear of prolonging the trial. Arkansas Online, "Impeachment's limbo unfair, Trump asserts," 25 Dec. 2019 As of December 13, the RATP transport union intends to extend the strike at least through December 17, with threats of prolonging the disruption through the holiday. Lindsey Tramuta, Condé Nast Traveler, "How the Strike in Paris Will Affect Your Holiday Travel," 13 Dec. 2019 About 45 percent of older people have completed advance directives, which often specify that doctors should not take extreme measures to prolong life., "The last time Americans died at home at the current rate was the middle of the last century, according to Dr. Haider Warraich, a cardiologist at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and a coauthor of the new research.," 13 Dec. 2019 By agreeing to the consultant, City Council signed off on prolonging the Jackson administration’s consideration of a dirt-bike facility, an idea that was controversial from the start more than two years ago. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "Cleveland City Council approves hiring an expert to determine if building a dirt track complex is feasible," 3 Dec. 2019 No civilian official had ordered the military to deploy, which only underscored the danger of prolonging the power vacuum. Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, "How an Unknown Female Senator Came to Replace the Bolivian Strongman Evo Morales," 24 Nov. 2019 He was accused of prolonging his immigration patrols for 17 months to boost his successful 2012 re-election campaign. CBS News, "Court hears arguments in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's bid to erase conviction pardoned by Trump," 23 Oct. 2019 Those calculations may have changed as the deadlock in Israeli politics looks to be further prolonged. Washington Post, "Trump: Mideast peace plan likely rolled out in days," 23 Jan. 2020

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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Statistics for prolong

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prolong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for prolong


How to pronounce prolong (audio)

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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