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 The borders, which stretch to 2.5km, are planted high with manicured giant agave. The Economist, "Stories of an extraordinary world Indian tequila: one man’s quest to perfect a national spirit," 31 Jan. 2020 Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, faces four primary opponents in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, the expansive district stretching from San Antonio to the edge of El Paso. Jasper Scherer, Houston Chronicle, "DCCC adds Wendy Davis, Gina Ortiz Jones to 'Red to Blue' program," 27 Jan. 2020 In addition to being one of the few places where Americans can see the Northern Lights without a passport, Fairbanks also has one of the longest viewing seasons for the aurora borealis, which stretches from August 21 to April 21. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Alaska Airlines Has Flight Discounts to See the Northern Lights," 13 Jan. 2020 Vance Pearson led the 17-state Region 5, which stretches from Missouri to California, before his resignation in November. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Vance Pearson, who led UAW Region 5, expected to plead guilty in corruption probe," 6 Jan. 2020 The breach affected all stores, which stretch along the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Florida. USA TODAY, "Wawa data breach: Convenience chain facing lawsuits over security incident at all of its stores," 27 Dec. 2019 But during the Carboniferous period, which stretched from about 360 to 300 million years ago, the region was a subtropical swamp dominated by lycopids, giant relatives of today’s club mosses that could grow over a hundred feet tall. Tim Vernimmen, National Geographic, "Prehistoric parenting goes back even further than we thought," 23 Dec. 2019 The Clinch River, which stretches through 300 miles of Appalachia, has a mussel problem. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "How the Freshwater Mussel Apocalypse Could Impact Fishing Near You," 19 Dec. 2019 The congressman’s once-solid margins have been narrowing in recent elections as the 7th District — which stretches from the Canadian border almost all the way down to Iowa — has become redder. Steve Karnowski, Twin Cities, "Impeachment another hurdle for Collin Peterson in GOP-heavy district," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That trend can be seen clearly in a three-block stretch of the historic Calle Ocho that cuts through the middle of Little Havana. Alan Gomez, USA Today, "Before Super Bowl, Miami's Little Havana faces exodus of Cubans, pressure from developers," 31 Jan. 2020 The clutch feels intuitive to modulate, but the manual shifter is sloppy and a stretch to reach. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Defining the Porsche 911: New vs. Old," 31 Jan. 2020 Malik Hall had all six of his first-half points in that stretch, including an alley-oop dunk from Winston, and Foster Loyer’s first of two first-half 3-pointers capped the early burst. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball uses balanced attack to flatten Northwestern, 79-50," 30 Jan. 2020 The Hyperion Elite has a lightweight stretch woven upper, which is layered over Brooks’ proprietary DNA Zero midsole and a carbon fiber plate. Adrienne So, Wired, "Exclusive: Brooks' Hyperion Elite Could Beat Nike's Vaporflys," 30 Jan. 2020 The vessel, which is 121 feet long and almost 20 feet wide, was found in a stretch of the river north of Warsaw, according to the Science in Poland. Fox News, "Mysterious medieval warrior graves reveal their secrets," 29 Jan. 2020 This is not a story of woe is me by any stretch of the imagination (laughs). Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'I was either a victim or a villain.' Now Susan Rice tells her side of the Benghazi story," 27 Jan. 2020 Bradley had seven consecutive points in that stretch. Steve Kroner, SFChronicle.com, "Cal overcomes 11-point deficit, stuns Stanford at Haas Pavilion," 26 Jan. 2020 Stocks have brought an average gain of 1.3% over that stretch since 1950, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac. CBS News, "Nasdaq closes at record high on consumer tech-spending boom," 26 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stretch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stretching. Accessed 16 Feb. 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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