Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French estendre, from Latin extendere, from ex- + tendere to stretch — more at thin
Date: 14th century
1. to spread or stretch forth ; unbend <extended both her arms> 2. a. to stretch out to fullest length b. to cause (as a horse) to move at full stride c. to exert (oneself) to full capacity <could work long and hard without seeming to extend himself> d. (1) to increase the bulk of (as by adding a cheaper substance or a modifier) (2) adulterate 3. [Middle English, from Medieval Latin extendere (from Latin) or Anglo-French estendre, from Old French] a. British to take possession of (as lands) by a writ of extent b. obsolete to take by force 4. a. to make the offer of ; proffer <extending aid to the needy> <extending their greetings> b. to make available <extending credit to customers> 5. a. to cause to reach (as in distance or scope) <national authority was extended over new territories> b. to cause to be longer ; prolong <extend the side of a triangle> <extended their visit another day>; also to prolong the time of payment of c. advance, further <extending her potential through job training> 6. a. to cause to be of greater area or volume ; enlarge <extended the patio to the back of the house> b. to increase the scope, meaning, or application of ; broaden <beauty, I suppose, opens the heart, extends the consciousness — Algernon Blackwood> <extending the meaning of the word> c. archaic exaggerate intransitive verb 1. to stretch out in distance, space, or time ; reach <their jurisdiction extended over the whole area> 2. to reach in scope or application <his concern extends beyond mere business to real service to his customers> • extendability noun • extendable also extendible adjective Synonyms: extend, lengthen, prolong, protract 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>. prolong suggests chiefly increase in duration especially beyond usual limits <prolonged illness>. protract adds to prolong implications of needlessness, vexation, or indefiniteness <protracted litigation>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.