1

stretch

verb \ ˈstrech \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of stretch

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
8 a : 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
10 a : 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
1 a : 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
3 a : to extend one's body or limbs
  • stretched before jogging
  • wanted to stretch out on the sofa
b : to lie down at full length

stretchability

play \ˌstre-chə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

stretchable

play \ˈstre-chə-bəl\ adjective

stretchy

play \-chē\ adjective
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

Examples of stretch in a Sentence

  1. Don't yank on my sweater. You'll stretch it.

  2. The elastic waistband of my pants won't stretch any more.

  3. It's important to stretch before you exercise.

  4. The baby stretched and yawned.

  5. She woke up and stretched her arms above her head.

  6. She stretched over us to open the window.

  7. She stretched her hand toward him.

  8. She stretched the canvas over the wooden frame.

  9. The T-shirt was stretched tight over his belly.

  10. A big banner was stretched across the doorway.

Recent Examples of stretch from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of stretch

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


2

stretch

noun

Definition of stretch

1 a : 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
3 a : 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
4 a : 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
7 a : 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

Examples of stretch in a Sentence

  1. a 60-mile stretch of beach

  2. an open stretch of highway

  3. These are good stretches for your leg muscles.

  4. I always spend a few minutes doing stretches before I exercise.

  5. I can feel the stretch in the back of my legs.

Recent Examples of stretch from the Web

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.

First Known Use of stretch

1541


3

stretch

adjective

Definition of stretch

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

Examples of stretch in a Sentence

  1. stretch fabrics that don't wrinkle or sag

Recent Examples of stretch from the Web

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.

First Known Use of stretch

1954


STRETCH Defined for English Language Learners

stretch

verb

Definition of stretch for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of stretch for English Language Learners

  • : a continuous area or length of land or water

  • : a continuous period of time

  • : a period of time spent in prison


stretch

adjective

Definition of stretch for English Language Learners

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


STRETCH Defined for Kids

1

stretch

verb \ ˈstrech \

Definition of stretch for Students

stretched; stretching
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.

2

stretch

noun

Definition of stretch for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

stretch

transitive verb \ ˈstrech \

medical Definition of stretch

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

2

stretch

noun

medical Definition of stretch

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


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