2. To stretch out or extend in all directions; to dilate; to enlarge, as by elasticity of parts; to inflate so as to produce tension; to cause to swell; as, to distend a bladder, the stomach, etc. "The warmth distends the chinks." (Dryden)
Origin: L. Distendere, distentum, distensum; dis- + tendere to stretch, stretch out: cf. F. Distendre to distend, detendre to unbend. See Tend, and cf. Detent.
(01 Mar 1998)
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