Definition of distend in English:



  • Swell or cause to swell by pressure from inside.

    [no object] ‘the abdomen distended rapidly’
    [with object] ‘air is introduced into the stomach to distend it’
    • ‘‘Bad luck, Paul,’ she says, reflexively rubbing her sore, distended abdomen.’
    • ‘In other words, put something into the lungs that will put pressure on them and distend them, and at the same time, be safe.’
    • ‘She is now visibly pregnant, at least, with her clothes off, her belly distended with you and everything around her waist thickening.’
    • ‘A very distended stomach is sometimes visible.’
    • ‘He looked dapper in a blue suit, jacket unbuttoned, showing a stomach distended as if he had swallowed a basketball.’
    • ‘In April 2003, a young Kazakhstani boy was taken into hospital for an operation on his unusually distended stomach.’
    • ‘His abdomen was severely distended, with liver and spleen palpable to just above the pelvic brim.’
    • ‘Additionally, there were a few children in the group with thin frames and distended bellies which I normally associate with malnutrition.’
    • ‘Her head is swollen and her tiny stomach distended.’
    • ‘The carbon dioxide in soft drinks can distend your stomach.’
    • ‘The ascending aorta was enlarged and distended.’
    • ‘Then she noted that its belly was distended, and moved slowly.’
    • ‘The breathing pattern should be observed, and the patient should be asked to distend the abdomen and then flatten it.’
    • ‘The abdomen was mildly distended, but ascites was not evident.’
    • ‘This morning, it's a dead bird on the small porch, legs up in the air, claws gripping nothing, stomach distended.’
    • ‘This new pressure distends the ventricles, stretching surrounding nerve fibers and compressing the periventricular parenchyma.’
    • ‘He was huffing and puffing something fierce, distending his cheeks with every exhalation.’
    • ‘At present he is thin, has severe jaundice and his body is distended as his own liver has become swollen and hard.’
    • ‘Also I'd just had a large helping of pudding at lunch and my stomach was bloated and distended, making seatbelt use out of the question.’
    • ‘After many days I noticed my belly was becoming distended.’
    swollen, bloated, tumescent, dilated, engorged, enlarged, inflated, stretched, blown up, pumped out, pumped up
    expanded, extended, ballooning, puffy, puffed up
    bulbous, bulging, protuberant, prominent, sticking out
    turgescent, ventricose
    swell, bloat, bulge, puff out, puff up, blow out, blow up, expand, dilate, inflate, enlarge
    tumefy, intumesce
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin distendere, from dis- apart + tendere to stretch.