Stretch definition

strĕch
To reach or put forth; extend.

Stretched out his hand.

verb
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To wrench or strain (a muscle, for example).
verb
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An unbroken length, tract, or space; continuous extent or distance.

A long stretch of beach.

noun
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To extend (oneself or one's limbs, for example) to full length.

Stretched her calves before running.

verb
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A straight section of a racecourse or track, especially the section leading to the finish line.
noun
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To lengthen, widen, or distend.

Stretched the sweater out of shape.

verb
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To extend or enlarge beyond the usual or proper limits.

Stretch the meaning of a word.

verb
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A course or direction.
noun
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(baseball) A long reach in the direction of the ball with a foot remaining on the base by a first baseman in order to catch the ball sooner.
noun
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A length of time.

He did a 7-year stretch in jail.

noun
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To make taut; tighten.

Stretched the tarpaulin until it ripped.

verb
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Of, relating to, or being a vehicle, such as a limousine or passenger jet, having an extended seating area that provides extra space for more passengers, leg room, or amenities.
adjective
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To stretch is to last longer than expected or to cause something to last longer than expected.

An example of stretch is when a play drags on for four hours instead of two.

verb
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To stretch is to get wider, longer or larger, or to cause something to get wider, longer or larger or to try to make scarce resources go further.

An example of stretch is what a sweater does when someone wears it who is too big for it.

An example of stretch is what you do to a sweater you wear that is too small for you.

An example of stretch is when you only have enough food for one and you share it with another.

verb
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The definition of a stretch is a long, unbroken period of time or distance.

An example of stretch is sixteen days without a day off.

noun
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To prolong.

Stretch out an argument.

verb
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(informal) To fell by a blow.

Stretched his opponent in the first round.

verb
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To put to torture on the rack.
verb
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To subject to undue strain.

To stretch one's patience.

verb
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To expand in order to fulfill a larger function.

Stretch a budget; stretch a paycheck.

verb
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To increase the quantity of by admixture or dilution.

Stretch a meal by thinning the stew.

verb
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To become lengthened, widened, or distended.
verb
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To extend or reach over a distance or area or in a given direction.
verb
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To lie down at full length.

Stretched out on the bed.

verb
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To extend one's muscles or limbs, as after prolonged sitting or on awakening.
verb
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To extend over a given period of time.
verb
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A continuous or unbroken length, area, or expanse.

An empty stretch of highway.

noun
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(baseball) A series of movements in which a pitcher, standing with the glove side facing home plate, raises both hands to the height of the head and then lowers them to the chest or waist for a short pause before pitching the ball. It is used especially when runners are on base because it gives base runners less time to steal than they have during a full windup.
noun
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A continuous period of time.
noun
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(slang) A term of imprisonment.

Served a two-year stretch.

noun
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Made of an elastic material that stretches easily.

Stretch pants.

adjective
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To hold out or reach out; extend.

To stretch out a helping hand.

verb
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To cause (the body or limbs) to reach out to full length, as in yawning, relaxing, or reclining, or in preparing to exercise.
verb
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To pull or spread out to full extent or to greater size.

To stretch sheets out to dry.

verb
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To cause to reach or extend over a given space, distance, or time.

To stretch pipelines across a continent.

verb
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To make tense or tight with effort; strain (a muscle, etc.)
verb
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(slang) To knock down, esp. so as to cause to lie at full length.
verb
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To cause to reach or extend farther or too far; force or strain.
verb
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To strain in interpretation, application, scope, etc. to questionable or unreasonable limits.

To stretch a rule, to stretch the truth.

verb
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To become stretched or be capable of being stretched to greater size, as any elastic substance.
verb
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(jazz) To perform a lengthy improvised solo.
verb
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To spread or be spread out to full extent or beyond normal limits.
verb
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To extend or continue over a given space, distance, direction, or time.
verb
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To extend the body or limbs to full length, as in yawning, reaching for something, or preparing to exercise.
verb
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To lie down at full length.
verb
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A stretching or being stretched.
noun
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The extent to which something can be stretched.
noun
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(informal) A stretch limousine, airliner, etc.
noun
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An action or effort that exceeds someone's normal limits or powers; specif., a dramatic role regarded as beyond an actor's normal range or abilities.
noun
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(informal) Anything regarded as far-fetched or as an exaggeration.

Likening him to Einstein is a bit of a stretch.

noun
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(baseball) The act of bringing the hands together, as before the chest, and then lowering them and pausing before pitching the ball or attempting to pick off a base runner.
noun
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An unbroken period; continuous space (of time)

Over a stretch of ten days.

noun
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(informal) A term served in prison under a sentence.
noun
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Any of the sections of a course or track for racing.
noun
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Made of elasticized fabric so as to stretch easily and fit closely.

Stretch pants.

adjective
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Designating or of a vehicle, esp. a limousine, that has been customized by extending the passenger section to enlarge seating capacity.
adjective
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I stretched the rubber band until it almost broke.

verb
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(intransitive) To lengthen when pulled.

The rubber band stretched almost to the breaking point.

verb
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To pull tight.

First, stretch the skin over the frame of the drum.

verb
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(figuratively) To get more use than expected from a limited resource.

I managed to stretch my coffee supply a few more days.

verb
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(figuratively) To make inaccurate by exaggeration.

To say crossing the street was brave is stretching the meaning of "brave" considerably.

verb
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(intransitive) To extend physically, especially from limit point to limit point.

The beach stretches from Cresswell to Amble.

verb
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(intransitive or) To extend one's limbs or another part of the body in order to improve the elasticity of one's muscles.

Cats stretch with equal ease and agility beyond the point that breaks a man on the rack.

I always stretch my muscles before exercising.

verb
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(intransitive) To extend to a limit point.

His mustache stretched all the way to his sideburns.

verb
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verb
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(nautical) To sail by the wind under press of canvas.

The ship stretched to the eastward.

verb
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An act of stretching.

I was right in the middle of a stretch when the phone rang.

To say crossing the street was brave was quite a stretch.

noun
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The ability to lengthen when pulled.

That rubber band has quite a bit of stretch.

noun
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A course of thought which diverts from straightforward logic, or requires extraordinary belief.

It's a bit of a stretch to call Boris Karloff a comedian.

noun
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A segment of a journey or route.

It was an easy trip except for the last stretch, which took forever.

noun
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(baseball) A quick pitching delivery used when runners are on base where the pitcher slides his leg instead of lifting it.
noun
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To stretch is to move the limbs of your body as far as you can.

An example of stretch is when you reach your arms as high as possible above your head to reach something on a high shelf.

verb
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To cause to extend from one place to another or across a given space.

Stretched the banner between two poles.

verb
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To extend (oneself) when lying down.

She stretched herself out on the couch.

verb
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The act of stretching or the state of being stretched.
noun
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The extent or scope to which something can be stretched; elasticity.
noun
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(informal) The last stage of an event, period, or process.
noun
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stretch (one's) legs
  • To go for a walk, especially after a lengthy period of sitting.
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
stretch
Plural:
stretches

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of stretch

  • Middle English strecchen from Old English streccan

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English strecchen, from Old English streÄ‹Ä‹an (“to stretch, hold out, extend, spread out, prostrate"), from Proto-Germanic *strakjanÄ…, *strakkijanÄ… (“to stretch, make taut or tight"), from Proto-Indo-European *streg-, *treg- (“stiff, rigid"). Cognate with Dutch strekken (“to stretch, straighten"), German strecken (“to stretch, straighten, elongate"), Danish strække (“to stretch"), Swedish sträcka (“to stretch"), Dutch strak (“taut, tight"), Albanian shtriqem (“to stretch"). More at stark.

    From Wiktionary