• IPA: /stɹɛtʃ/

stretch (stretches, present participle stretching; past and past participle stretched)

  1. (transitive) To lengthen by pulling.
    I stretched the rubber band until it almost broke.
  2. (intransitive) To lengthen when pulled.
    The rubber band stretched almost to the breaking point.
    • The inner membrane […] because it would stretch and yield, remained unbroken.
  3. (transitive) To pull tight.
    First, stretch the skin over the frame of the drum.
  4. (figuratively, transitive) To get more use than expected from a limited resource.
    I managed to stretch my coffee supply a few more days.
  5. (figuratively, transitive) To make inaccurate by exaggeration.
    To say crossing the street was brave is stretching the meaning of "brave" considerably.
  6. (intransitive) To extend physically, especially from limit point to limit point.
    The beach stretches from Cresswell to Amble.
  7. (intransitive, transitive) 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.
  8. (intransitive) To extend to a limit point
    His mustache stretched all the way to his sideburns.
  9. (transitive) To increase.
  10. (obsolete, colloquial) To stretch the truth; to exaggerate.
    a man apt to stretch in his report of facts
  11. (nautical) To sail by the wind under press of canvas.
    The ship stretched to the eastward.
  12. (slang, transitive, archaic) To execute by hanging.
  13. To make great demands on the capacity or resources of something.
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stretch (plural stretches)

  1. An act of stretching.
    I was right in the middle of a stretch when the phone rang.
  2. The ability to lengthen when pulled.
    That rubber band has quite a bit of stretch.
  3. A course of thought which diverts from straightforward logic, or requires extraordinary belief or exaggeration.
    It's a bit of a stretch to call Boris Karloff a comedian.
    To say crossing the street was brave was quite a stretch.
  4. A segment of a journey or route.
    It was an easy trip except for the last stretch, which took forever.
    It's a tough stretch of road in the winter, especially without chains.
  5. A segment or length of material.
    a stretch of cloth
  6. (baseball) A quick pitching delivery used when runners are on base where the pitcher slides his leg instead of lifting it.
  7. (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.
  8. (informal) Term of address for a tall person.
  9. (horse racing) The homestretch, the final straight section of the track leading to the finish.
  10. A length of time.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 6, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473 ↗:
      After the harvest there was a stretch of clear dry weather, and the animals toiled harder than ever […]
    1. (Ireland) Extended daylight hours, especially said of the evening in springtime when compared to the shorter winter days.
      There is a grand stretch in the evenings.
    2. (sports) The period of the season between the trade deadline and the beginning of the playoffs.
    3. (slang) A jail or prison term.
      He did a seven-year stretch in jail.
      1. (slang) A jail or prison term of one year's duration.
    4. A single uninterrupted sitting; a turn.
  11. A stretch limousine.
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