Synonyms and Antonyms of expand

  1. 1 to express more fully and in greater detail an article on the First Ladies that the author later expanded into a book Synonyms of expand amplify, develop, dilate (on or upon), elaborate (on), enlarge (on or upon), flesh (out) Words Related to expand add (to), complement, supplement; discourse, expatiate, ramble, run on Near Antonyms of expand compress, contract; outline, summarize, sum up Antonyms of expand abbreviate, abridge, condense, shorten

  2. 2 to make greater in size, amount, or number we had to expand the list of wedding guests several times in order to accommodate all the relatives Mother wouldn't dream of excluding Synonyms of expand accelerate, add (to), aggrandize, amplify, augment, boost, build up, compound, enlarge, escalate, increase, extend, hype, multiply, pump up, raise, swell, stoke, supersize, upWords Related to expand boom, jump, skyrocket, spike; bump (up), ratchet (up) also rachet (up); blow up, dilate, distend, inflate; draw out, elongate, flesh (out), lengthen, prolong, protract, stretch; develop, enhance, heighten, intensify, magnify; complement, supplement; beef (up), reinforce (also reenforce), strengthen; maximize; accumulate, amass, collect; follow up, parlayNear Antonyms of expand abbreviate, abridge, curtail, shorten; compress, condense, constrict, contract; cut back, retrenchAntonyms of expand abate, decrease, de-escalate, diminish, downsize, dwindle, lessen, lower, minify, reduce, subtract (from)

  3. 3 to arrange the parts of (something) over a wider area a spare leaf for those times when we have to expand the dining table to accommodate extra guests Synonyms of expand open, extend, fan (out), flare (out), outspread, outstretch, spread (out), stretch (out), unfold, unfurlWords Related to expand overspreadNear Antonyms of expand compact, compress, condense, reduceAntonyms of expand close, contract, fold

  4. 4 to become greater in extent, volume, amount, or number water expands when it becomes frozen Synonyms of expand accelerate, accumulate, appreciate, balloon, boom, build up, burgeon (also bourgeon), climb, enlarge, escalate, increase, gain, mount, multiply, mushroom, proliferate, rise, roll up, snowball, spread, swell, waxWords Related to expand jump, rocket, skyrocket, surge; heighten, intensify, redouble; blow up, bulk, distend, inflate, puff (up); crescendo, crest, peakAntonyms of expand contract, decrease, diminish, dwindle, lessen, recede, wane

Synonym Discussion of expand

expand, amplify, swell, distend, inflate, dilate mean to increase in size or volume. expand may apply regardless of the manner of increase (such as growth, unfolding, addition of parts).
    • a business that expands every year
amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate.
    • amplify the statement with details
swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits.
    • the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions
distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within.
    • a distended abdomen
inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a vulnerability to sudden collapse.
    • an inflated ego
dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference.
    • dilated pupils

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up expand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


the significant part of a grievance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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