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

Wednesday prolonged the imprecision that's plagued his last three outings. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros overcome 4-run deficit to defeat Rangers in 10 innings," 4 July 2018 Any adjustment would be prolonged by Mr Trump’s unpredictability. The Economist, "Could a trade war derail global growth?," 21 June 2018 Putting off a difficult conversation prolongs conflict. Savvy Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, Scientific American, "Why We Procrastinate, and 5 Ways to Stop," 20 June 2018 Sleepless nights and empty stomachs distract them from going to class and passing their courses, prolonging or even preventing degree completion. New York Times, "What’s the Biggest Challenge for Colleges and Universities?," 5 June 2018 For example, proteins can be made to hook to other molecules to prolong their activity, or interact in a specific way with a cell's molecular receptors. Bradley J. Fikes,, "La Jolla biotech raises $63 million to make cancer drugs from artificial DNA," 30 Apr. 2018 Making five healthy lifestyle choices could prolong your life by longer than 10 years, according to a new study. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "These 5 Habits May Help You Live 10 Years Longer, Study Says," 30 Apr. 2018 Deadheading will prolong blooming well into the fall. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Go over the brink of pink with new variety of pincushion flower," 13 Apr. 2018 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

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

26 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

Comments on prolong

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characteristic trappings or dress

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