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 To perform this pose, simply reach your arms overhead while lying in bed, and stretch your legs out long. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "This 5-minute yoga routine will boost your energy and start the day right," 22 May 2020 Sunbathers, picnickers and furry companions will have plenty of room to stretch out without getting too close to their neighbors. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Circles in the grass: Four San Francisco parks get social-distancing markings," 21 May 2020 And over so many hours of film, stretched out over a decade, their on-screen relationship has come far closer than other bromances in depicting what male friendship is really like. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The End of The Trip," 19 May 2020 The seasons march on, for frogs and foxes, even as our own period of suspended animation stretches out before us, indefinitely. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal," 15 May 2020 The road traced seaside cliffs, which were lined with gnarled pines stretching out over the alluring water. Travel + Leisure, "How to Pull Off the Ultimate Turkey Trip by Bike and Boat," 14 May 2020 Ivey suggests rolling socks sushi style, instead of balling them, which can stretch out the elastic. Leslie Patton, Bloomberg.com, "Purging Your Stuff Is the New Conspicuous Consumption," 10 May 2020 In Northern California, a line stretched out the door of a Yuba City salon on Wednesday. NBC News, "California Gov. Newsom says community spread started at nail salon," 9 May 2020 Which is probably why Teacher Appreciation Day, which falls on May 5, stretches out into Teacher Appreciation Week. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "All The Best Deals & Freebies Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week," 5 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To the north was a shoreline lined with houses, except for stretches of protected land such as Big Lagoon State Park. al, "Fair winds: Sailing along a coast coming back to life," 20 May 2020 Prepare for a stretch of overcast skies and rain in the week ahead. oregonlive, "Portland weather: Wet weekend ahead," 16 May 2020 Still, his skill set as a run defender does have value, especially for a Cowboys team that struggled mightily against the run for certain stretches. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: Best fits available for the Cowboys in the 2020 NFL draft," 25 Apr. 2020 We aren't wired to work for long stretches of time. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "These workers are always all remote. Here are their best tips," 23 Apr. 2020 Rain patterns have changed, too, becoming more concentrated; heavy rains briefly douse crops, which are left dry for longer stretches than before. Yadid Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Wines From Israel’s Negev Desert May Represent the Future of Viticulture," 16 Apr. 2020 Even if Haarms picks Kentucky, Calipari may be forced to use smaller lineups for long stretches this season. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "EJ Montgomery is entering the NBA draft. What's next for Kentucky basketball?," 15 Apr. 2020 In the meantime, Doerger is now printing surgical mask adjusters, which are needed because some medical personnel are developing sores from wearing the protective masks for such long stretches at a time. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Luke Doerger, Toledo center from La Salle HS, builds surgical shields with 3-D printer," 13 Apr. 2020 Woolf herself came down with serious cases of the disease a half-dozen times between 1916 and 1925, and needed to remain confined to bed for significant stretches. Evan Kindley, The New Yorker, "Why Anxious Readers Under Quarantine Turn to “Mrs. Dalloway”," 10 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In Putnam County, at least 18 people died, including several children, and 88 were injured in a 2 mile stretch west of town – the highest death toll in the state from the storm. Yihyun Jeong, USA TODAY, "Minute by minute: How a deadly tornado cut a devastating path across Tennessee," 5 Mar. 2020 The recent dry and unusually stretch warm weather has this year's crop ready a bit earlier than normal. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll County, area farmers say recent drought hasn’t stemmed pumpkin supply," 4 Oct. 2019 Del Mar review Sunday’s feature, the Grade 2 $200,000 Del Mar Derby for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the turf, was a really good stretch battle where Nolde maneuvered between horse by a great ride by Victor Espinoza to win by a neck. Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Stewards’ rulings are back," 2 Sep. 2019 There have been stretch bigs and bulk rebounders, lob threats and defensive anchors, but none that were all of the above and then some. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "After Year of Turmoil, Lakers Look Ready to Contend," 15 June 2019 Justin Smith and Race Thompson are both third-year players with the potential athleticism and versatility to play as stretch fours, or perhaps even at the three in a pinch. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "With plenty of frontcourt options, Trayce Jackson-Davis remains wild card for IU basketball," 29 May 2019 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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Time Traveler for stretch

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stretch

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stretch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stretch. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for stretch

stretch

verb
How to pronounce stretch (audio)

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
\ 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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Comments on stretch

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