Definition of prolong in English:


(also prolongate)


  • 1 Extend the duration of.

    ‘an idea that prolonged the life of the engine by many years’
    • ‘This prolongs its life span and increases the duration of its procoagulant function.’
    • ‘In fact, only a delay, which occurred last fall, has prolonged the continued debate.’
    • ‘The latter is known to be due to the fact that hypocalcemia prolongs the duration of phase two of the action potential of cardiac muscle.’
    • ‘Thus a diver may be tempted to prolong underwater duration by prior hyperventilation in order to wash out as much carbon dioxide as possible.’
    • ‘Ice saline lavage does not serve a useful purpose and may prolong bleeding.’
    • ‘When does medical care merely prolong a person's dying time?’
    • ‘Yet, for many people, science has artificially prolonged the dying process.’
    • ‘Although this probably does prolong the duration of remission, it is unclear if it confers a survival benefit.’
    • ‘Hypothermia impairs the metabolism of drugs, prolonging the duration of some pharmacologic effects.’
    • ‘Magdalene had made it clear that she wanted everything done to prolong her survival.’
    • ‘The addition of a vasoconstrictor, such as epinephrine, constricts blood vessels and reduces vascular uptake, which further prolongs the duration of the anesthetic.’
    • ‘Furthermore, advances in technology that needlessly prolong dying can be a threat to human dignity.’
    • ‘Moreover, given the fact that dishonesty in enterprises increases transaction costs and prolongs the business cycle, the economic development of the country will eventually be stifled.’
    • ‘Thus, the agony for Walker may have been needlessly prolonged.’
    • ‘If so, it won't save the dollar, only prolong the agony.’
    • ‘This discovery increases and prolongs the bacterial killing power of chlorine bleach.’
    • ‘Saying you're really busy for the next while only prolongs the agony.’
    • ‘The authorities are unnecessarily prolonging the construction by doing the work in phases, he alleged.’
    • ‘The idea of prolonging our lives may not be so appealing if we feel miserable and isolated.’
    • ‘Many very interesting issues have been raised, and I think that we could prolong this debate for a long time.’
    lengthen, make longer, extend, extend the duration of, draw out, drag out, protract, spin out, stretch out, string out, elongate
    carry on, continue, keep up, keep something going, go on with, perpetuate, sustain
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1rare Extend in spatial length.
      ‘the line of his lips was prolonged in a short red scar’


Late Middle English: from Old French prolonguer, from late Latin prolongare, from pro- forward, onward + longus long.