A soda and pizza binge might make your stomach distend, meaning your stomach will swell as a result of pressure from the inside.

If you’ve ever eaten too much food it won’t surprise you to learn that the verb distend traces back to the Latin words dis-, meaning “apart,” and tendere, meaning “to stretch.” Your stomach will certainly feel stretched out if you do something — like overeat — that causes it to distend. The word distend often applies to stomachs — a pregnancy would also cause a stomach to distend — but it can also refer to anything that is stretched out as a result of internal pressure.

Definitions of distend
  1. verb
    cause to expand as if by internal pressure
    “The gas distended the animal's body”
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    type of:
    make bloated or swollen
  2. verb
    swell from or as if from internal pressure
    “The distended bellies of the starving cows”
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    type of:
    intumesce, swell, swell up, tumefy, tumesce
    expand abnormally
  3. verb
    become wider
    synonyms: dilate
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    type of:
    become broader or wider or more extensive
Word Family