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distend (third-person singular simple present distends, present participle distending, simple past and past participle distended)

  1. (intransitive) To extend or expand, as from internal pressure; to swell
    • 1835, William Gilmore Simms, The Partisan, Harper, Chapter XIV, page 180:
      Then came the arrowy flight and form of the hurricane itself—its actual bulk—its imbodied power, pressing along through the forest in a gyratory progress, not fifty yards wide, never distending in width, yet capriciously winding from right to left and left to right.
  2. (transitive, reflexive, archaic) To extend; to stretch out; to spread out.
    • 1662 Thomas Salusbury, Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogue 2):
      These impure and frail matters are conteined within the angust concave of the Lunar Orb, above which with uninterrupted Series the things Celestial distend themselves.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      But say, what mean those coloured streaks in heaven / Distended as the brow of God appeased?
  3. (transitive) To cause to swell.
  4. (biology) To cause gravidity.

Derived termsEdit