Definition of prolong in English:


(also prolongate)


  • 1Extend the duration of.

    ‘an idea that prolonged the life of the engine by many years’
    • ‘The authorities are unnecessarily prolonging the construction by doing the work in phases, he alleged.’
    • ‘Magdalene had made it clear that she wanted everything done to prolong her survival.’
    • ‘Thus a diver may be tempted to prolong underwater duration by prior hyperventilation in order to wash out as much carbon dioxide as possible.’
    • ‘Hypothermia impairs the metabolism of drugs, prolonging the duration of some pharmacologic effects.’
    • ‘This prolongs its life span and increases the duration of its procoagulant function.’
    • ‘Many very interesting issues have been raised, and I think that we could prolong this debate for a long time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The idea of prolonging our lives may not be so appealing if we feel miserable and isolated.’
    • ‘Furthermore, advances in technology that needlessly prolong dying can be a threat to human dignity.’
    • ‘Saying you're really busy for the next while only prolongs the agony.’
    • ‘Yet, for many people, science has artificially prolonged the dying process.’
    • ‘In fact, only a delay, which occurred last fall, has prolonged the continued debate.’
    • ‘Ice saline lavage does not serve a useful purpose and may prolong bleeding.’
    • ‘When does medical care merely prolong a person's dying time?’
    • ‘The addition of a vasoconstrictor, such as epinephrine, constricts blood vessels and reduces vascular uptake, which further prolongs the duration of the anesthetic.’
    • ‘Thus, the agony for Walker may have been needlessly prolonged.’
    • ‘If so, it won't save the dollar, only prolong the agony.’
    • ‘Although this probably does prolong the duration of remission, it is unclear if it confers a survival benefit.’
    • ‘This discovery increases and prolongs the bacterial killing power of chlorine bleach.’
    lengthen, make longer, extend, extend the duration of, draw out, drag out, protract, spin out, stretch out, string out, elongate
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    1. 1.1usually be prolongedtechnical 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’.