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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
stretch /strɛtʃ/USA pronunciation
v. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
[countable] an act or instance of stretching; the state of being stretched.
[uncountable] ability to be stretched;
- to spread out fully;
straighten (the body, etc.) completely: [~ + object]She stretched herself out on the ground.[no object]He yawned and stretched.
- to (cause to) extend or spread from one place to another: [~ + object]The crew stretched a rope across the road.[no object]The forest stretches for miles.
- [no object] to extend in time:His memory stretches back to his early childhood.
- to (cause to) be drawn tight or taut, without breaking or snapping: [~ + object]to stretch the strings of a violin.[no object]Will this nylon stretch?
- to draw out or extend too much: [~ + object]The jacket was stretched at the elbows.[no object]The jacket stretched at the stomach.
- [~ + object] to extend or force (something) or make (something) serve beyond its normal or proper limits; strain:to stretch the facts.
- [~ + object] to exert (oneself ) to the utmost:students who stretch themselves to achieve their best.
elasticityelasticity:These socks have lost their stretch.
[countable] a continuous length:a stretch of meadow.
Sport[countable] the last part of a racetrack:down the stretch.
[countable] an amount of, or extent in, time:gone for a stretch of ten years.
[countable] a term of imprisonment:a ten-year stretch in prison.
adj. [before a noun]
Textiles(of yarn) having an ability to be easily stretched.
Textilesmade from such yarn:stretch denim.
Transportlonger than standard:stretch limousines.
to recline at full length (usually fol. by out):to stretch out on a couch.
to extend the hand or to reach, as for something.
to extend over a distance or area or in a particular direction:The forest stretches for miles.
to extend in time:His memory stretches back to his early childhood.
to stretch oneself by extending the limbs and lengthening the muscles to the utmost:to stretch and yawn.
to become stretched, or admit of being stretched, to greater length, width, etc., as any elastic or ductile material.
Show Business[Radio and Television.]to reduce the pace or slow down the action of a radio or television program.
an act or instance of stretching.
the state of being stretched.
a continuous length, distance, tract, or expanse:a stretch of meadow.
Sport[Horse Racing.]the backstretch or homestretch of a racetrack.
Sport[Baseball.]a short windup, usually used to keep base runners from taking too long a lead, in which the pitcher starts the pitching motion with hands together at the waist, raises them to or above the head, brings them back to the waist, and, after a momentary pause, delivers the ball.
an extent in time; duration:for a stretch of ten years.
elasticity or capacity for extension.
Slang Terms[Slang.]a term of imprisonment:He's doing a stretch in the pen.
the act or fact of stretching or extending something beyond reasonable or proper limits:You wouldn't call her a genius by any stretch of the imagination. It's quite a stretch for me to believe his story.
(cap.) a nickname for a tall, lanky person.
Textilesmade of synthetic or composite yarn having a sufficiently low denier or having been subjected to any of several special mechanical treatments to permit increased elasticity:stretch girdle; stretch pants.
Textiles(of yarn) modified or twisted so as to afford high elasticity.
TransportAlso,stretched. of or pertaining to a conveyance, as a limousine or airliner, whose seating area is expanded to carry more passengers or afford greater legroom and to allow space for other comforts and amenities.
- to draw out or extend (oneself, a body, limbs, wings, etc.) to the full length or extent (often fol. by out):to stretch oneself out on the ground.
- to hold out, reach forth, or extend (one's arm, head, etc.).
- to extend, spread, or place (something) so as to reach from one point or place to another:to stretch a rope across a road.
- to draw tight or taut:to stretch the strings of a violin.
- to lengthen, widen, distend, or enlarge by tension:to stretch a rubber band.
- to draw out, extend, or enlarge unduly:The jacket was stretched at the elbows.
- to extend, force, or make serve beyond the normal or proper limits; strain:to stretch the imagination;
to stretch the facts;
to stretch food to feed extra guests;
to stretch money to keep within a budget.
- to extend or strain (oneself ) to the utmost, as by intense exertion;
- to increase the quantity of (a beverage, food, paint, etc.) by dilution or admixing:They caught the bartender stretching the gin with water.
- Show Business[Radio and Television.]to prolong or slow down (action or pace) in order not to end too early:to stretch a show; to stretch the action two minutes.
5, 16 . shorten, shrink.
Middle English strecchen (verb, verbal), Old English streccan;
cognate with Dutch strekken, German strecken;
akin to Old English stræc firm, hard, Middle Dutch strac stiff. See stare, stark
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
stretch /strɛtʃ/ vb
- to draw out or extend or be drawn out or extended in length, area, etc
- to extend or be extended to an undue degree, esp so as to distort or lengthen permanently
- to extend (the limbs, body, etc)
- (transitive) to reach or suspend (a rope, etc) from one place to another
- (transitive) to draw tight; tighten
- often followed by out, forward, etc: to reach or hold (out); extend
- (intransitive) usually followed by over: to extend in time: the course stretched over three months
- (intr; followed by for, over, etc) (of a region, etc) to extend in length or area
- (intransitive) (esp of a garment) to be capable of expanding, as to a larger size: socks that will stretch
- (transitive) to put a great strain upon or extend to the limit
- to injure (a muscle, tendon, ligament, etc) by means of a strain or sprain
- (transitive) often followed by out: to make do with (limited resources): to stretch one's budget
- (transitive) informal to expand or elaborate (a story, etc) beyond what is credible or acceptable
- (tr; often passive) to extend, as to the limit of one's abilities or talents
- archaic or slang to hang or be hanged by the neck
- stretch a point ⇒ to make a concession or exception not usually made
- to exaggerate
- stretch one's legs ⇒ to take a walk, esp after a period of inactivity
Etymology: Old English streccan; related to Old Frisian strekka, Old High German strecken; see straight, strakeˈstretchable adj ˌstretchaˈbility n
- the act of stretching or state of being stretched
- a large or continuous expanse or distance: a stretch of water
- extent in time, length, area, etc
- capacity for being stretched, as in some garments
- (as modifier): stretch pants
- the section or sections of a racecourse that are straight, esp the final straight section leading to the finishing line
- slang a term of imprisonment
- at a stretch ⇒ chiefly Brit with some difficulty; by making a special effort
- if really necessary or in extreme circumstances
- at one time