April 19, 2014
distend (verb)
\dih-STEND\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to stretch or bulge out in all directions : swell
How do you use it?
"Breathe in and balloon the belly out," said the yoga instructor, reminding the class to breathe deeply and distend the abdomen with each inhalation.
Are you a word wiz?

English is bulging with words that are related to "distend." See if you can expand your knowledge of "distend" by finding one if its relatives in the list below.

It's not a stretch to see the connection between "distend" and answer D, "attend." The histories of these words stretch back to the Latin verb "tendere," meaning "to stretch, extend, or spread" -- a root whose kin have really expanded our language. To find evidence of this expansion, look for words that include "tend" or "tent." Many of those words have "tendere" in their family tree. Perhaps the simplest example is "tent," which names a shelter made from a piece of material stretched over a frame. You'll also find the influence of "tendere" in "extend," "tendon," "contend," "pretend," "intend," "tendency" and of course, "distend."
Archive RSS Feed