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New Latin elongare, a combination of ex- (out) +‎ longus (long). Doublet of eloign.



elongate (third-person singular simple present elongates, present participle elongating, simple past and past participle elongated)

  1. (transitive) To make long or longer by pulling and stretching; to make elongated.
    Synonyms: extend, stretch
    • 1794, Erasmus Darwin, chapter 7, in Zoonomia[3], volume 1, London: J. Johnson, section 14, page 123:
      When the muscles of the heart cease to act, the refluent blood again distends or elongates them; and thus irritated they contract as before.
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, chapter 26, in Barchester Towers[4], volume 2, Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1859, page 335:
      As Mr. Arabin had already moved out of the parsonage of St. Ewold’s, that scheme of elongating the dining-room was of course abandoned;
    • 1874, Thomas Hardy, chapter 8, in Far from the Madding Crowd[5], volume 1, London: Smith, Elder, page 105:
      [...] elongating his gaze to the remotest point of the ashpit, [he] said [...]
    • 1911 October, Edith Wharton, chapter IV, in Ethan Frome (The Scribner Library; SL8), New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, →OCLC, page 91:
      The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.
  2. (intransitive) To become long or longer by being pulled or stretched; to become elongated.
    • 1798, Thomas Malthus, chapter 1, in An Essay on the Principle of Population[6], London: J. Johnson, page 10:
      A writer may tell me that he thinks man will ultimately become an ostrich. I cannot properly contradict him. But before he can expect to bring any reasonable person over to his opinion, he ought to shew, that the necks of mankind have been gradually elongating [...]
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, chapter 8, in A Tale of Two Cities[7], volume book 3, London: Chapman and Hall, page 204:
      Here, Mr. Lorry perceived the reflexion on the wall to elongate [...]
    • 1951, Herman Wouk, chapter 3, in The Caine Mutiny[8], volume part 1, New York: Doubleday, page 27:
      His face elongated daily, and his melancholy eyes burned in deepening sockets like dim candles [...]
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To move to or place at a distance (from something).[1]
    • 1547, Andrew Boorde, chapter 3, in A Compendyous Regyment or a Dyetary of Healthe[9], London: William Powell:
      [...] let the common house of easement [i.e. the outhouse] be ouer some water, or els elongated from the house.
    • 1652, Anthony Burgess, Spiritual Refining[10], London: Thomas Underhill, Sermon 119, page 688:
      [...] let us shew in how many particulars they [wicked men] are thus elongated, or made afar off from God.
    • 1667, George Sikes, chapter 15, in The Book of Nature Translated and Epitomiz’d[11], London, section 2, page 77:
      The principal force and property of hatred then, is to divide, separate, alienate, and elongate a man from what he hates.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To depart to, or be at, a distance (from something); especially, to appear to recede from the sun, as a planet in its orbit.[2]
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, chapter 2, in Pseudodoxia Epidemica[12], volume book 2, London: E. Dod, page 63:
      [...] about Capo Frio in Brasilia, the south point varieth twelve degrees unto the West, and about the mouth of the Straites of Magellan five or six; but elongating from the coast of Brasilia toward the shore of Africa it varyeth Eastward,

Related terms[edit]



elongate (comparative more elongate, superlative most elongate)

  1. Lengthened, extended, elongated; relatively long and slender.
    Painted turtles lay oval, elongate eggs.
    • 1958, Han Suyin, chapter 11, in The Mountain Is Young[13], New York: Putnam, page 341:
      He stood in the shadow of the pagoda, achieving a kinship between the building and himself by his elongate elegance, an air of old, uninsisting nobility.
    • 1976, Don DeLillo, chapter 3, in Ratner's Star[14], New York: Vintage, 1980, page 46:
      He tilted the glass slightly now, the surface of the liquid assuming an elongate outline.
    • 2006, E. O. Wilson, chapter 6, in The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth[15], volume Part 1, New York: Norton, page 59:
      The teeth [of Thaumatomyrmex ants] are sometimes so elongate that when the mandibles are closed, the largest pair curve all around the opposite side of the head and stick out behind its posterior rim.

Derived terms[edit]


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  1. ^ Thomas Blount (1661) Glossographia[1], London: George Sawbridge:Elongate [...] to remove afar off, to defer or prolong.”
  2. ^ Samuel Johnson (1755) A Dictionary of the English Language[2], volume 1, London: Strahan:“To ELONGATE. [...] To go off to a distance from any thing.”





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of ēlongō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of elongar combined with te