To dilate something is to make it wider. When the light fades, the pupil of your eye will dilate, meaning it looks bigger.

The verb dilate comes from the Latin word dilatare, which means “enlarge” or “spread out.” When something stretches, expands, or becomes wider, it is said to dilate. Usually the word dilate is used when the opening of something circular becomes larger, but every so often you might hear someone refer to the need to dilate someone's understanding of quantum physics, global warming, livestock breeding, or any other topic.

Definitions of dilate

v become wider

“His pupils were dilated
Type of:
become broader or wider or more extensive

v add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing

elaborate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
abbreviate, abridge, contract, cut, foreshorten, reduce, shorten
reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
cut, edit, edit out
cut and assemble the components of
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provide details for
exposit, expound, set forth
exemplify, illustrate, instance
clarify by giving an example of
particularise, particularize, specialise, specialize, specify
be specific about
depict, describe, draw
give a description of
set forth beforehand, often as an explanation
spell out
make explicit; specify in detail
Type of:
clarify, clear up, elucidate
make clear and (more) comprehensible

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