verb (used with or without object)

  1. to expand by stretching, as something hollow or elastic: Habitual overeating had distended his stomach.
  2. to spread in all directions; expand; swell: The sea distended about them.


  1. to expand or be expanded by or as if by pressure from within; swell; inflate
  2. (tr) to stretch out or extend
  3. (tr) to magnify in importance; exaggerate

v.c.1400, from Latin distendere “to swell or stretch out, extend,” from dis- “apart” (see dis-) + tendere “to stretch” (see tenet). Related: Distended; distending. v.

  1. To swell out or expand or cause to swell out or expand from or as if from internal pressure.
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