- Distend is defined as to stretch out or to become swollen.
An example of to distend is for an elbow to swell up from an internal injury.
- to stretch out
- to expand; make or become swollen
Origin of distendMiddle English distenden ; from Classical Latin distendere ; from dis-, apart + tendere, to stretch: see tend
verbdis·tend·ed, dis·tend·ing, dis·tends
Origin of distendMiddle English distenden, from Latin distendere : dis-, dis- + tendere, to stretch; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present distends, present participle distending, simple past and past participle distended)