stretch1 W3S3 [stretʃ] v
1¦(make something bigger/looser)¦
4¦(make something tight)¦
6¦(in space)¦
7 stretch your legs
8 stretch (somebody's) patience/credulity
10 stretch the truth/facts
11 be stretching it
13 be stretched (to the limit)
14 not stretch to something
Phrasal verbs
 stretch out
[: Old English; Origin: streccan]
a) [I and T]
to make something bigger or looser by pulling it, or to become bigger or looser as a result of being pulled
A spider's web can stretch considerably without weakening.
Where can I buy those things that stretch your shoes?
b) [I not in progressive]
if a material stretches, it can become bigger or longer when you pull it and then return to its original shape when you stop
2.) ¦(BODY)¦ [I and T]
to straighten your arms, legs, or body to full length
Carl sat up in bed, yawned, and stretched.
Always stretch before exercising.
3.) ¦(REACH)¦ [I always +adverb/preposition]
to reach a long way for something
stretch across/over
Ann stretched across the couch and grabbed the phone.
to pull something so that it is tight
The canvas is stretched over a wooden frame.
5.) ¦(TIME/SERIES)¦ [I,T always + adverb/preposition]
to continue over a period of time or in a series, or make something do this
stretch into/on/over etc
Berg's career as a government official stretched over twenty years.
With a goal in the second half, Spurs stretched their lead to 3-0.
6.) ¦(IN SPACE)¦ [I always + adverb/preposition]
to spread out or cover a large area of land
stretch to/into/away etc
Row after row of orange trees stretched to the horizon.
a line stretching around the block
7.) stretch your legs informal
to go for a walk, especially after sitting for a long time
8.) stretch (sb's) patience/credulity
to be almost beyond the limits of what someone can accept or believe
The kids stretch my patience to the limit.
9.) ¦(RULE/LIMIT)¦ [T]
BrE to allow something that would not normally be allowed by a rule or limit
This once I'll stretch the rules and let you leave work early.
We'll stretch a point (=allow a rule to be broken) and let the baby travel free this time.
stretch the rules atrule1 (1)
10.) stretch the truth/facts
to say or write something that is not completely true
Reporters sometimes stretch the facts to make a point.
11.) be stretching it informal
to make something seem more important, bigger etc than it really is
He's a good player, but 'world class' is stretching it.
12.) ¦(FOOD/MONEY)¦ [I and T]
if you make an amount of money, food etc stretch or it stretches, you use less of it than you usually would so that you have it for a longer time
I'm going to have to stretch this $20 until payday.
13.) be stretched (to the limit)
to have hardly enough money, supplies, time etc for your needs
We're stretched at the moment, otherwise we'd go.
14.) not stretch to sth
BrE if someone's money will not stretch to something, they cannot afford it
The budget won't stretch to a new car this year.
15.) ¦(ABILITIES)¦ [T]
to make someone use all of their skill, abilities, or intelligence
The work's too easy. The students aren't being stretched enough.
stretch out phr v
1.) informal to lie down, usually in order to sleep or rest
I'm just going to stretch out on the couch for ten minutes.
2.) stretch sth<=>out
to put out your hand, foot etc in order to reach something
Jimmy stretched out his hand to take the candy.
stretch 2
stretch2 n
1¦(length of land/water)¦
4 by any stretch (of the imagination)
5 the home/final stretch
7 at full stretch
an area of land or water, especially one that is long and narrow
stretch of
a beautiful stretch of countryside
2.) ¦(TIME)¦
a continuous period of time
stretch of
a stretch of three weeks without sunshine
She doesn't leave the house for long stretches of time .
She rarely sleeps for eight hours at a stretch (=without stopping) .
3.) ¦(BODY)¦
the action of stretching a part of your body out to its full length, or a particular way of doing this
The ski instructor showed us some special stretches.
4.) by any stretch (of the imagination)
spoken used to emphasize that a negative statement is true
My family wasn't wealthy by any stretch of the imagination.
5.) the home/final stretch
a) the last part of a track before the end of a race
b) the last part of an activity, trip, or process
As they enter the home stretch of the campaign, the President's lead has grown.
6.) ¦(MATERIAL)¦[U]
the ability a material has to increase in length or width without tearing
7.) at full stretchBrE
a) using everything that is available
With staff shortages and appalling weather conditions, the emergency services were at full stretch.
b) with your body or part of your body stretched as far as possible
He dived and caught the ball at full stretch.
8.) ¦(JAIL)¦ [C usually singular] informal
a period of time spent in prison
stretch 3
stretch3 adj [only before noun]
stretch clothes or material stretch if you pull them and then return to their original shape
stretch levis

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • Stretch — Stretch, v. i. 1. To be extended; to be drawn out in length or in breadth, or both; to spread; to reach; as, the iron road stretches across the continent; the lake stretches over fifty square miles. [1913 Webster] As far as stretcheth any ground …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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