Definition of dilate in English:

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Pronunciation: /dīˈlāt/
Pronunciation: /ˈdīˌlāt/


1Make or become wider, larger, or more open: [no object]: her eyes dilated with horror [with object]: the woman dilated her nostrils
More example sentences
  • Laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.
  • The allergen causes the release of chemicals within the body which act to make the small arterial blood vessels dilate and to leak fluid from the capillaries into the surrounding tissues.
  • How well this artery dilates indicates how coronary arteries are behaving.
enlarge, widen, expand, distend
2 [no object] (dilate on) Speak or write at length on (a subject).
Example sentences
  • She is speaking to us from the security of her living room, safe in her culpable life, dilating on the most hopeless of catastrophes.
  • He was one of the first creative people to dilate on this theme philosophically in his novel, first by questioning, ‘Where was the providence of the simple faith?’
  • I don't have the space here to, er, dilate on the issue but in my view real women are, alas, a dying breed.
expatiate, expound, enlarge, elaborate, speak/write at length



Pronunciation: /dīˈlādəbəl/ Pronunciation: /dəˈlādəbəl/ Pronunciation: /ˈdīˌlādəbəl/
Example sentences
  • The prostatic urethra is about 3cm long and is the widest and most dilatable part of the male urethra.
  • The term of ‘basic national interests’ is very dilatable and open to interpretation.
  • The invention relates to a dilatable balloon implant, which is configured with a limited permeability to liquid.


Late Middle English: from Old French dilater, from Latin dilatare 'spread out', from di- 'apart' + latus 'wide'.

Words that rhyme with dilate

abate, ablate, aerate, ait, await, backdate, bait, bate, berate, castrate, collate, conflate, crate, create, cremate, date, deflate, dictate, distraite, donate, downstate, eight, elate, equate, estate, fate, fête, fixate, freight, frustrate, gait, gate, gestate, gradate, grate, great, gyrate, hate, hydrate, inflate, innate, interrelate, interstate, irate, Kate, Kuwait, lactate, late, locate, lustrate, mandate, mate, migrate, misdate, misstate, mistranslate, mutate, narrate, negate, notate, orate, ornate, Pate, placate, plate, prate, prorate, prostrate, pulsate, pupate, quadrate, rate, rotate, sate, sedate, serrate, short weight, skate, slate, spate, spectate, spruit, stagnate, state, straight, strait, Tate, tête-à-tête, Thwaite, translate, translocate, transmigrate, truncate, underrate, understate, underweight, update, uprate, upstate, up-to-date, vacate, vibrate, wait, weight

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: di·late

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