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

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Other Words from stretch

Verb

stretchability \ ˌstre-​chə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce stretchability (audio) \ noun
stretchable \ ˈstre-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce stretchable (audio) \ adjective
stretchy \ ˈstre-​chē How to pronounce stretchy (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Painful cuts are coming, as has been warned for months, and they're expected to stretch across the county and across services in a budget that eliminates $25.5 million in spending to balance ballooning pension costs. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's budget vote is Tuesday. Here's how we got here and what it all means," 20 June 2019 Woodland, who led by two to start the third round, stretched it to as many as four shots when Rose shanked a bunker shot from in front of the par-3 fifth green, and Woodland followed with a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 sixth. Doug Ferguson, BostonGlobe.com, "Gary Woodland leads Justin Rose by 1 heading into US Open final round," 15 June 2019 Woodland, who led by two to start the third round, stretched it to as many as four shots when Rose shanked a bunker shot from in front of the par-3 fifth green, and Woodland followed with a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 sixth. Doug Ferguson, courant.com, "Woodland takes 1-shot lead over Rose in US Open," 15 June 2019 Toronto stretched it to 88-72 on Leonard’s 3-pointer with 8:44 remaining. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Kawhi Leonard shines as Raptors take commanding 3-1 lead on Warriors in NBA Finals," 7 June 2019 Laureano extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games and stretched his on-base streak to a major-league leading 23 games. Dan Arritt/correspondent, The Mercury News, "Laureano stays hot to help A’s return to winning ways," 4 June 2019 The agency has an unparalleled track record in exploration, particularly with robotic probes stretching across the Solar System from the Sun to the outer planets and beyond. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "On NASA’s birthday, a reminder that we can thank Nixon for the agency," 1 Oct. 2018 Three Floyds Distilling aims for similar brashness, while also honoring an American distilling tradition stretching back hundreds of years. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "Three Floyds launches distillery with the iconic brewery's same 'it's not normal' point of view," 6 June 2019 Muffler and Reddy’s dispute with Stonebridge Run’s management company stretches back several years, according to documents filed in both the civil and criminal cases against then. Vinny Vella, Philly.com, "A Bucks County couple kept 31 cats in squalor. A new state law is helping prosecute them.," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sleepy Hollow Road near Ludlow has a one-lane stretch controlled by an automated traffic light. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "NKY road damage cleanup: No ETA for Ky. 9 landslide fix," 20 June 2019 Following Rothstein’s death, emergency improvements were quickly made to Howard Street, which now has limited stretches of bike lanes protected with plastic posts and painted stripes and safety zones. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Protected bike lanes, transit lane to transform Folsom, Howard streets," 19 June 2019 The river has a few famed stretches for whitewater and fly-fishing, and Chambers Lake is a classic destination to camp. Joshua Berman, The Know, "6 beautiful Colorado highways that are great for summer road trips," 17 June 2019 Instead, they’ll be given a space to have a stretch and a drink of water, Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said this week in Seoul, South Korea, at an annual gathering of airline executives. Angus Whitley, https://www.inquirer.com, "World’s longest flight — Sydney to London — to be even less comfortable than expected," 5 June 2019 The street now has a stretch of local pizza shops, and next week Shun Fat Marketplace will open in the location of a former Fred Meyer. oregonlive.com, "Foster Road gets bike lanes as streetscape project nears completion," 5 June 2019 Even with its new drag-reduction system, the ID R Pikes Peak tops out at just 167mph (270km/h)—tens of miles an hour slower than a 956—and the Nordschleife has several long stretches where top speed counts. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This electric car just set a new record at the Nürburgring," 3 June 2019 Each species has a stretch of DNA letters unique to it. Quanta Magazine, "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems," 29 May 2019 Awards season is over, and Gaga has a long stretch of time before her next Enigma Vegas show on May 30. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Lady Gaga Just Hit Back at Pregnancy Rumors With an Even Bigger Announcement," 13 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Stretch marks, scars from skin tears as skin expands, can also fade but might not go away. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Women who've had babies look different. Here's how pregnancy can permanently change a body," 30 Aug. 2017 At 6-8, Bogdanovic is an athletic forward versatile enough to play the stretch power forward in certain lineups and situations. Nate Taylor, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Bojan Bogdanovic brought to Pacers as a starter," 11 July 2017 Stretch dough to cover as much of the pan as possible, being careful not to tear the dough. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Foods rich in carotenoids may help age-related vision loss.," 9 July 2017

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.

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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

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Learn More about stretch

Statistics for stretch

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stretch

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

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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

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