stretch

verb
\ ˈstrech How to pronounce stretch (audio) \
stretched; stretching; stretches

Definition of stretch

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to extend (one's limbs, one's body, etc.) in a reclining position
2 : to reach out : extend stretched out her arms
3 : to extend in length stretched his neck to see what was going on
4 : to fell with or as if with a blow
5 : to cause the limbs of (a person) to be pulled especially in torture
6 : to draw up (one's body) from a cramped, stooping, or relaxed position
7 : to pull taut canvas stretched on a frame
8a : to enlarge or distend especially by force
b : to extend or expand as if by physical force stretch one's mind with a good book
c : strain stretched his already thin patience
9 : to cause to reach or continue (as from one point to another or across a space) stretch a wire between two posts
10a : to amplify or enlarge beyond natural or proper limits the rules can be stretched this once
b : to expand (as by improvisation) to fulfill a larger function stretching a dollar
11 : to extend (a hit) to an extra base usually by fast or daring running stretch a single into a double

intransitive verb

1a : to become extended in length or breadth or both : spread broad plains stretching to the sea
b : to extend over a continuous period the dynasty stretches back several centuries
2 : to become extended without breaking
3a : to extend one's body or limbs stretched before jogging wanted to stretch out on the sofa
b : to lie down at full length
stretch a point
: to go beyond what is strictly warranted in making a claim or concession
stretch one's legs
1 : to extend the legs
2 : to take a walk in order to relieve stiffness caused by prolonged sitting

stretch

noun

Definition of stretch (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : an exercise of something (such as the understanding or the imagination) beyond ordinary or normal limits their conclusion seemed like a bit of a stretch
b : an extension of the scope or application of something a stretch of language
2 : the extent to which something may be stretched
3a : the act of stretching : the state of being stretched a good stretch for legs
b : the position of a pitcher standing sideways to home plate so as to keep a runner close to a base pitching from the stretch
4a : an extent in length or area an open stretch of road
b : a continuous period of time can write for eight hours at a stretch
5 : a walk to relieve fatigue
6 : a term of imprisonment served a 10-year stretch
7a : either of the straight sides of a racecourse especially : homestretch
b : a final stage (as of a contest or season) won some crucial games down the stretch
8 : the capacity for being stretched : elasticity a waistband with lots of stretch
9 : a stretch limousine

stretch

adjective

Definition of stretch (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : easily stretched : elastic a stretch wig
2 : longer than the standard size a stretch limousine

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stretch

Verb

stretchability \ ˌstre-​chə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce stretch (audio) \ noun
stretchable \ ˈstre-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce stretch (audio) \ adjective
stretchy \ ˈstre-​chē How to pronounce stretch (audio) \ adjective

Examples of stretch in a Sentence

Verb Don't yank on my sweater. You'll stretch it. The elastic waistband of my pants won't stretch any more. It's important to stretch before you exercise. The baby stretched and yawned. She woke up and stretched her arms above her head. She stretched over us to open the window. She stretched her hand toward him. She stretched the canvas over the wooden frame. The T-shirt was stretched tight over his belly. A big banner was stretched across the doorway. Noun a 60-mile stretch of beach an open stretch of highway These are good stretches for your leg muscles. I always spend a few minutes doing stretches before I exercise. I can feel the stretch in the back of my legs. Adjective stretch fabrics that don't wrinkle or sag
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Though there are acres of farm lands that stretch across the state, their produce didn’t make their way onto dinner plates very often. BostonGlobe.com, 7 June 2021 With origins that stretch back to ancient time, this most elegant of lounge wear has long been a staple for anyone committed to both style and comfort. The Fashion Team, Town & Country, 1 June 2021 The pool will be 82-feet long and will stretch across the rooves of the Embassy Garden, a high-end residential and business complex in London's Nine Elms neighborhood. Jada Jackson, House Beautiful, 6 May 2021 The deal, expected to generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the state, is the culmination of negotiations that stretch back years to a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision that lifted a federal ban on state authorization of sports betting. Russell Blair, courant.com, 27 May 2021 So, the Rams added not one but two players that can stretch the field. Gary Klein Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 The Yellow River Stone Forest where the marathon took place is a jumble of mountains and reddish rock structures that stretch skyward on the edge of the desert, a roughly 10-hour drive northwest of the city of Xi’an. Phred Dvorak, WSJ, 24 May 2021 The idea of a vast new political entity called Cascadia that would stretch up through the Pacific Northwest into Canada has fluttered in the regional consciousness for decades. New York Times, 21 May 2021 Drivers on the roads that stretch into the city risk landmines. Amanda Sperber, Vogue, 20 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun India reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances this weekend against the Cardinals, hitting two homers and a double in that stretch. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 6 June 2021 Over that same stretch, Birmingham lost more than 5,000 people. Ramsey Archibald | Rarchibald@al.com, al, 5 June 2021 The teams with the most six-on-five goals scored over that stretch: Colorado, St. Louis, and Toronto (five each). BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2021 Thybulle finished with seven points of 3-of-5 shooting and one steal in 16 minutes, although Wizards guard Bradley Beal drew three fouls on him over that stretch. Bryan Toporek, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Young was able to get off only one shot in that stretch, to the delight of a Garden crowd that had booed every mistake of their new archenemy. New York Times, 27 May 2021 The Clippers were limited to two baskets — both by George — over that stretch. Beth Harris, Star Tribune, 23 May 2021 The Clippers were limited to two baskets — both by George — over that stretch. Beth Harris, ajc, 23 May 2021 Meanwhile, the report also featured another notable estimate: that podcast advertising would exceed $2 billion by 2023, effectively doubling in size over that stretch. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 18 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Used for employee retention, this tool cuts the time to identify new internal jobs, mentoring or stretch assignments from 3-4 weeks to 30-60 seconds. Jeanne Meister, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Gamers who back now will receive additional stretch goal miniatures as the total climbs during the Kickstarter, which ends on May 13th. Rob Wieland, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 Take Girlfriend for example, (their high-rise leggings are a favorite among Vogue editors), whose sustainable activewear sets come in a range of essentials and limited edition colors in a variety of compressive and stretch fabrics. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 6 Apr. 2021 McCarthy’s underdog persona and ease at making friends stretch to the earliest days of his rise in his solidly red district, which includes his hometown of Bakersfield and spans parts of the southern San Joaquin Valley just north of Los Angeles. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Apr. 2021 While Olynyk is a useful stretch big man, the Heat now get a close look at Oladipo, who is going to be one of the best free agents available this offseason. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, 31 Mar. 2021 By the time the leaders hit the run for home, Known Agenda had cleared the other two and the only question was would Greatest Honour’s stretch move be strong enough to make a race of it. Tom Jicha, sun-sentinel.com, 27 Mar. 2021 For Rice, Sam Yono took a stretch pass and was all alone for a breakaway, but shot wide. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, 27 Mar. 2021 Matt's jeans must be made of some kind of stretch fabric, right? Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 16 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stretch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stretch

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1954, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stretch

Verb

Middle English strecchen, from Old English streccan; akin to Old High German strecchan to stretch, Old English stræc firm, severe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stretch

Time Traveler for stretch

Time Traveler

The first known use of stretch was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stretch

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stretch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stretch. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stretch

stretch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of stretch

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to make (something) wider or longer by pulling it
: to become longer or wider when pulled
: to put your arms, legs, etc., in positions that make the muscles long and tight

stretch

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stretch (Entry 2 of 3)

: a continuous area or length of land or water
: a continuous period of time
informal : a period of time spent in prison

stretch

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of stretch (Entry 3 of 3)

: made to stretch easily and then return to the original shape and size

stretch

verb
\ ˈstrech How to pronounce stretch (audio) \
stretched; stretching

Kids Definition of stretch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to reach out : extend, spread I stretched my neck to see better.
2 : to pull or draw out in length or width or both : expand, enlarge Don't stretch my sweater.
3 : to extend (as the body) in a flat position I stretched out on the bed.
4 : to extend the body or limbs You should stretch before exercising.
5 : to pull tight Stretch the canvas over a frame.
6 : to cause to reach or continue A wire was stretched between two posts.
7 : exaggerate I think you're stretching the truth.
8 : to become extended without breaking Rubber stretches easily.
9 : to extend over a continuous period His fascination with dinosaurs stretches back to childhood.

stretch

noun

Kids Definition of stretch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of extending or drawing out beyond ordinary or normal limits The story was a stretch of the imagination.
2 : the ability to be pulled or drawn out in length or width or both The fabric has a lot of stretch.
3 : the act or an instance of stretching the body or one of its parts
4 : a continuous extent in length, area, or time a short stretch of beach a long stretch of silence

stretch

transitive verb
\ ˈstrech How to pronounce stretch (audio) \

Medical Definition of stretch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to extend in length was told to stretch the leg muscles before running
2 : to enlarge or distend especially by force

intransitive verb

1 : to become extended in length or breadth
2 : to extend one's body or limbs

stretch

noun

Medical Definition of stretch (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of stretching : the state of being stretched a muscle or group of muscles in stretch— C. R. Houck

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!