to become expanded or inflated; to swell. His heart distends with pride.
1. To extend in some one direction; to lengthen out; to stretch. But say, what mean those coloured streaks in heaven Distended as the brow of god appeased? (Milton)
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)
Synonym: to dilate, expand, enlarge, swell, inflate.
Origin: L. Distendere, distentum, distensum; dis- – tendere to stretch, stretch out: cf. F. Distendre to distend, detendre to unbend. See Tend, and cf. Detent.