stretch ( stretches plural & 3rd person present) ( stretching present participle) ( stretched past tense & past participle )
1 verb Something that stretches over an area or distance covers or exists in the whole of that area or distance.
The procession stretched for several miles... V prep/adv
...an artificial reef stretching the length of the coast. V n
2 n-count A stretchof road, water, or land is a length or area of it.
usu N of n
It's a very dangerous stretch of road...
3 verb When you stretch, you put your arms or legs out straight and tighten your muscles.
He yawned and stretched... V
Try stretching your legs and pulling your toes upwards... V n
She arched her back and stretched herself. V n
Stretch is also a noun., n-count
At the end of a workout spend time cooling down with some slow stretches.
Make sure no awkward stretching is required.
4 n-count A stretchof time is a period of time.
oft N of n
...after an 18-month stretch in the army..., He would study for eight to ten hours at a stretch.
5 verb If something stretchesfrom one time to another, it begins at the first time and ends at the second, which is longer than expected.
...a working day that stretches from seven in the morning to eight at night. V from n to n
6 verb If a group of things stretchfrom one type of thing to another, the group includes a wide range of things.
...a trading empire, with interests that stretched from chemicals to sugar. V from n to n
7 verb When something soft or elastic stretches or is stretched, it becomes longer or bigger as well as thinner, usually because it is pulled.
The cables are designed not to stretch... V
Ease the pastry into the corners of the tin, making sure you don't stretch it. V n
8 adj Stretch fabric is soft and elastic and stretches easily.
...stretch fabrics such as Lycra., ...stretch cotton swimsuits.
9 verb If you stretch an amount of something or if it stretches, you make it last longer than it usually would by being careful and not wasting any of it.
They're used to stretching their budgets... V n
During his senior year his earnings stretched far enough to buy an old car. V
10 verb If your resources can stretch to something, you can just afford to do it.
She suggested to me that I might like to start regular savings and I said Well, I don't know whether I can stretch to that. V to n
11 verb If something stretches your money or resources, it uses them up so you have hardly enough for your needs.
The drought there is stretching American resources... V n
Public expenditure was being stretched to the limit by having to support 3 million unemployed people. be V-ed prep/adv
12 verb If you say that a job or task stretches you, you mean that you like it because it makes you work hard and use all your energy and skills so that you do not become bored or achieve less than you should., (approval)
I'm trying to move on and stretch myself with something different... V pron-refl
They criticised the quality of teaching, claiming pupils were not stretched enough. V n
13 If you are at full stretch, you are using the maximum amount of effort or energy.
at full stretch phrase PHR after v
Everyone would be working at full stretch.
14 If you say that something is not true or possible by any stretch of the imagination, you are emphasizing that it is completely untrue or absolutely impossible.
by any stretch of the imagination/by no stretch of the imagination phrase
Her husband was not a womaniser by any stretch of the imagination...
15 If you stretch your legs, you go for a short walk, usually after you have been sitting down for a long time.
stretch one's legs phrase V inflects
I stopped at the square and got out to stretch my legs. stretch out
1 phrasal verb If you stretch out or stretchyourselfout, you lie with your legs and body in a straight line.
The jacuzzi was too small to stretch out in... V P adv/prep
Moira stretched herself out on the lower bench. V pron-refl P prep/adv, Also V P
2 phrasal verb If you stretch out a part of your body, you hold it out straight. He was about to stretch out his hand to grab me. V P n (not pron), Also V n P
in BRIT, also use home straight
1 n-sing The home stretch or the home straight is the last part of a race.
Holmes matched Boulmerka stride for stride down the home straight to finish second.
2 n-sing You can refer to the last part of any activity that lasts for a long time as thehome stretch or thehome straight, especially if the activity is difficult or boring.
...as his two hours of banter, quips and anecdotes goes into the home straight.
stretch limo ( stretch limos plural ) A stretch limo is a very long and luxurious car in which a rich, famous, or important person is driven somewhere. n-count
Stretch marks are lines or marks on someone's skin caused by the skin stretching after the person's weight has changed rapidly. Women who have had children often have stretch marks. n-plural