stretch

verb
\ ˈstrech \
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 \ noun
stretchable \ ˈstre-​chə-​bəl \ adjective
stretchy \ ˈstre-​chē \ 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

Etalon Group The watery print stretches from facade to facade, like a wave rippling in crests. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Behold, Hokusai’s famous wave print stretching across six buildings," 18 Dec. 2018 Upwards of 1,200 flights were cancelled on Sunday as travelers across the country were heading home, thanks to the blizzard conditions that stretched from Kansas City to Chicago. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Winter Storm Bruce Leads to Flight Delays, Cancellations," 26 Nov. 2018 Jewish gangsters wielded considerable power in the crime world, stretching from Philadelphia to Minneapolis and beyond, Rockaway tells Teen Vogue. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "American Nazis and Nazi Sympathizers Have Been Around Since the 1930’s," 26 Nov. 2018 For decades the Italian label Ermenegildo Zegna has cultivated Oasi Zegna, a nature reserve in the Italian Alps that stretches from Bielmonte to Trivero, the village where the namesake founder opened his original wool mill. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "The Experience Wars: Inside the Furious Fight for the Affections (and Dollars) of the World's Biggest Spenders," 20 Sep. 2018 The gun violence stretched across Chicago, from Wicker Park to the outskirts of the city on the Southeast Side from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. Madeline Buckley, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago weekend toll: 4 dead, 23 wounded," 9 July 2018 Those looking for entertainment may go to Tencent’s WeChat , which has evolved from a messaging app into a mini-operating system with content stretching from news to games. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Bing, Baidu and a Big Mess for Chinese Search Engines," 24 Jan. 2019 Chopra and Jonas are set to tie the knot at Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, with wedding celebrations and ceremonies stretching from today to December 2. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Miss Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' Wedding," 29 Nov. 2018 Before the caravan arrived, wait times stretched to two months, and the migrant shelters in Tijuana were already near capacity. Dara Lind, Vox, "How a march at the US-Mexico border descended into tear gas and chaos," 26 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For 16 hours at a stretch, the stream of deep-brown strips and other products continues across Tyson’s 50 U.S. plants that together disassemble 37 million chickens each week, turning them into nuggets, wings and breasts. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Tyson Made Its Fortune Packing Meat. Now It Wants to Sell You Frittatas.," 13 Feb. 2019 Based on past award winners, the indecency clause seems like a stretch. Lisa Liebman, Glamour, "CES Just Doesn’t Know What to Do With a Sex Toy for Women," 18 Jan. 2019 Patients generally pay between $10,000 and $18,000 (plus OR and anesthesia fees) and are out of commission for a week or two (child care is a must during this stretch). Jolene Edgar, Allure, "Life in Plastic: A Complete Guide to the "Mommy Makeover"," 16 July 2018 Only Boston and Houston (22-9) had better records over that stretch. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds' rotation after the All-Star Break: Mahle, DeSclafani, Harvey, then TBA," 14 July 2018 To make matters worse, rival USC has claimed eight league titles during the same stretch. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "New coach Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins are No. 45 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 13 July 2018 That was the longest stretch without a high-yield bond sale since Dealogic started tracking the data in 1995. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Apollo Nears Deal to Buy Arconic for More Than $10 Billion," 15 Jan. 2019 Of course, some of them are a stretch, but a few actually have merit—like a theory currently trending on Reddit about Jon Snow's statue from the trailer. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Game of Thrones Fans Think Jon Snow's Statue in the Season 8 Trailer Reveals a Huge Clue," 15 Jan. 2019 But several justices seemed to think that this was a stretch. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How Apple hopes to stop a customer lawsuit over its App Store monopoly," 27 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for stretch

Last Updated

17 Feb 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 \
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 \

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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