Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “stretch”

See all translations

stretch

verb  /stretʃ/ us  

stretch verb (BECOME LONGER)

[I/T] to reach across a distance or become longer or wider, or to cause something to do this: [I] Rubber stretches when you pull it. [T] The banner was stretched across the street. [M] He removed his hat and stretched out his arms to embrace her. [I/T] If you stretch your body, your arms, or your legs, you straighten them so that they are as long as possible: [T] "I’m so tired," she said, yawning and stretching her arms.

stretch verb (BREAK LIMITS)

[T] to go beyond, or almost beyond, the usual limit of something: Buying a new dishwasher will really stretch our budget. We try to stretch ourselves in our reading group, picking books we wouldn’t ordinarily read.

stretch verb (SPREAD OVER AREA)

[I always + adv/prep] to spread over a large area or distance: A huge cloud of dense smoke stretched across the sky.

stretch verb (EXIST OVER TIME)

[I always + adv/prep] to spread over a long period of time: [I] The dispute stretches back over many years. [M] I’d like to stretch my mortgage payments out for 30 years.

stretch

noun  /stretʃ/ us  

stretch noun (UNUSUAL SITUATION)

[C usually sing] an unusual and sometimes difficult situation: Playing two games in two days is a bit of a stretch for us, but I think we’ll make it.

stretch noun (AREA)

[C usually sing] an area of land or water: Traffic is at a standstill along a five-mile stretch of Route 17 just south of Bridgeport.

stretch noun (BECOMING LONGER)

[C] the act of straightening your body, your arms, or your legs so that they are as long as possible: Before jogging, you should always do some stretches.

stretch noun (TIME)

[C usually sing] a continuous period of time: We had a long stretch of days with sub-zero temperatures last month.
(Definition of stretch from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of stretch?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “stretch” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

ellipsis

a situation in which words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still be understood

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More