Definition of prolong in English:


(also prolongate)


  • 1Extend the duration of.

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