Synonym Chooser

How does the verb lengthen contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of lengthen are extend, prolong, and protract. While all these words 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

When might prolong be a better fit than lengthen?

While the synonyms prolong and lengthen are close in meaning, prolong suggests chiefly increase in duration especially beyond usual limits.

prolonged illness

How are the words protract and prolong related as synonyms of lengthen?

Protract adds to prolong implications of needlessness, vexation, or indefiniteness.

protracted litigation

Thesaurus Entries Near lengthen

Cite this Entry

“Lengthen.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/lengthen. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on lengthen

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