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

Keep scrolling for more

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 greatest thing the right accomplished on climate change over the last 30 years is to stall action by prolonging the discussion of whether it’s real, long after scientists had put that question to rest. Umair Irfan, Vox, "How 2020 Democrats plan to fight climate change," 27 June 2019 Enter Colorado closer Wade Davis, who prolonged the meltdown, giving up two runs on a walk and three hits, including a game-tying single to Fernando Tatis. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies blow six-run lead in ninth inning in historic meltdown, lose in extra innings to Padres," 15 June 2019 The new findings support that idea, and suggest that prolonging ripples recruits extra neurons to generate the signal, whose activity is relevant to the task at hand. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Better Memory Through Electrical Brain Ripples," 14 June 2019 But the deal hasn’t won lawmakers’ support, prolonging uncertainty for an industry heavily dependent on tariff-free trade within the region. Ben Foldy, WSJ, "Tariffs Loom Over Car Makers, Despite Mexico Deal," 13 June 2019 David Kelly, JP Morgan’Chase’s chief global strategist, writes in his weekly update that rate cuts could embolden the administration to prolong an already destructive trade war. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "Investors are betting on a rate cut. They shouldn’t.," 12 June 2019 Protesters pushed for the delay, fearing the election would prolong the old regime. The Economist, "Politics this week," 8 June 2019 If the Fed does act quickly to try to prolong the economic expansion, it will be accused of caving in to a bully in the Oval Office. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "A Weakening Economy May Be the Biggest Threat to Donald Trump," 8 June 2019 This news almost certainly confirms that Buffon will be leaving Turin, but Jurgen Klopp could yet prolong the World Cup winner's stellar career at Anfield., "Liverpool Interest Could Force Juventus Legend Gianluigi Buffon Into Dramatic Retirement U-Turn," 17 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prolong

Statistics for prolong

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prolong

The first known use of prolong was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!