v. dis·tend·ed, dis·tend·ing, dis·tends
To swell out or expand, especially from internal pressure: The puppies ate until their stomachs distended.
To cause to expand, especially from internal pressure; dilate: Fluid distends a blister.
[Middle English distenden, from Latin distendere : dis-, dis- + tendere, to stretch; see ten- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
dis·tensi·ble (dĭ-stĕnsə-bəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.