protract

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb protract contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of protract are extend, lengthen, and prolong. While all these words mean "to draw out or add to so as to increase in length," protract adds to prolong implications of needlessness, vexation, or indefiniteness.

protracted litigation

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

Both 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

Where would prolong be a reasonable alternative to protract?

In some situations, the words prolong and protract are roughly equivalent. However, prolong suggests chiefly increase in duration especially beyond usual limits.

prolonged illness

Thesaurus Entries Near protract

Cite this Entry

“Protract.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/protract. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on protract

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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