stretch Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “stretch” in the English Dictionary

"stretch" in British English

See all translations

stretchverb

uk   us   /stretʃ/

stretch verb (REACH)

B2 [T usually + adv/prep] to ​cause something to ​reach, often as ​far as ​possible, in a ​particulardirection: I ​tripped on a ​piece of ​wire that someone had stretched ​across the ​path. She stretched out her hand and ​helped him from his ​chair.B2 [I] to make ​yourbody or ​yourarms and ​legsstraight so that they are as ​long as ​possible, in ​order to ​exercise the joints (= ​place where two ​bones are ​connected) after you have been in the same ​place or ​position for a ​longtime: "I'm so ​tired," she said, ​yawning and stretching. It's a good ​idea to stretch before you do ​vigorousexercise.
More examples

stretch verb (SPREAD)

C2 [I usually + adv/prep] to ​spread over a ​largearea or ​distance: A ​hugecloud of ​densesmoke stretched across the ​horizon. The Andes stretch for 7,250 km along the ​westcoast of ​SouthAmerica. Unsettled ​weather will stretch from the ​middle Mississippi Valley to the ​southern Middle Atlantic States. The ​refugeecamps stretch as ​far as the ​eye can ​see.
More examples

stretch verb (GO PAST)

[T] to go as ​far as or past the ​usuallimit of something: Many ​families' ​budgets are already stretched to ​breakingpoint. We can't ​work any ​harder, Paul. We're already fully stretched. This ​movie really stretches the ​patience of the ​audience to the ​limit. Normally, ​people under 18 aren't ​allowed, but I ​guess we can stretch the rules for you as it's ​yourbirthdaytomorrow.

stretch verb (MAKE LONGER)

B2 [I or T] to (​cause a ​material to) ​becomelonger or ​wider than ​usual as a ​result of ​pulling at the ​edges: an ​exercise to stretch the ​legmuscles That ​elasticband will ​snap if you stretch it too ​far. This ​substance stretches to any ​shape you ​want.B2 [I] If a ​material stretches, it can ​becomelonger or ​wider when ​pulled and then ​return to ​itsoriginalsize: to stretch fabrics

stretch verb (LONG TIME)

[I usually + adv/prep] to ​spread over a ​longperiod of ​time: The ​dispute stretches back over many ​years. Although we were ​supposed to ​finish this ​month, it ​looks like the ​work will stretch well into next ​year. [T] (also stretch out) to make a ​process or ​taskcontinue for a ​longerperiod of ​time than was ​originallyplanned: I'd like to stretch my ​mortgagepayments out over a ​longerperiod if ​possible.

stretch verb (DO MORE)

[T] If ​jobs or ​tasks stretch you, they make you ​learn new things that use ​yourskill and ​experience more than before: My ​presentjob doesn't stretch me, so I'm ​looking for something more ​demanding.

stretchnoun

uk   us   /stretʃ/

stretch noun (PART)

C1 [C usually singular] a ​continuousarea of ​land or ​water: This ​particular stretch ofcoast is ​especiallypopular with ​hikers. Traffic is at a ​standstill along a five-​mile stretch of the ring-road. Some very ​rarebirdsinhabitour stretch of the ​river. [C usually singular] a ​stage in a ​race, or a ​part of a racetrack: She ​lookedcertain to ​win as she ​entered the final stretch. He ​fell as he ​galloped down the home stretch (= towards the ​finish).
More examples

stretch noun (REACH)

[C] an ​act of stretching: I always have a good stretch when I get up in the ​morning. This is a really good stretch for ​yourhip flexors.

stretch noun (GO PAST)

[C usually singular] the ​fact that something has gone past ​itsusuallimits: His ​idea may be a stretch, but it's not ​outside the ​realm of ​possibility.

stretch noun (MAKE LONGER)

[U] the ​degree to which a ​material can be made ​longer or ​wider by ​pulling: This ​fabric doesn't have much stretch in it, does it?

stretch noun (TIME)

[C usually singular] a ​continuousperiod of ​time: The ​elderlygenerally need ​far less ​rest than the ​young, and ​tend to ​sleep in several ​short stretches. [C usually singular] informal a ​period of ​time that a ​criminalspends in ​prison: Her brother's doing a ten-year stretch for ​armedrobbery.at a stretch continuously or without any ​interruptions: There's no way I could ​work for ten hours at a stretch.

stretch noun (DIFFICULT JOB)

[C usually singular] a ​job, ​task , or role that is ​difficult for someone because it is very different from what they usually do: Playing a ​buddingoperastar was not much of a stretch for this ​classicallytrainedsinger.
(Definition of stretch from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"stretch" in American English

See all translations

stretchverb

 us   /stretʃ/

stretch verb (BECOME LONGER)

[I/T] to ​reachacross a ​distance or ​becomelonger 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 ​yourbody, ​yourarms, or ​yourlegs, 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 ​usuallimit of something: Buying a new ​dishwasher will really stretch ​ourbudget. We ​try to stretch ourselves in ​ourreadinggroup, ​pickingbooks we wouldn’t ​ordinarilyread.

stretch verb (SPREAD OVER AREA)

[I always + adv/prep] to ​spread over a ​largearea or ​distance: A ​hugecloud of ​densesmoke stretched ​across the ​sky.

stretch verb (EXIST OVER TIME)

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

stretchnoun

 us   /stretʃ/

stretch noun (UNUSUAL SITUATION)

[C usually sing] an ​unusual and sometimes ​difficultsituation: 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 ​straighteningyourbody, ​yourarms, or ​yourlegs so that they are as ​long as ​possible: Before ​jogging, you should always do some stretches.

stretch noun (TIME)

[C usually sing] a ​continuousperiod 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)

"stretch" in Business English

See all translations

stretchverb

uk   us   /stretʃ/
[I] if ​money or other ​resources stretch to something, they are enough to ​buy or ​pay for something: MPs and many within the ​pensionsindustry are ​concerned £400m will not stretch far enough.stretch to sth Our ​budget won't stretch to ​hiring any new ​workers.
[T] to make ​money or ​resources last ​longer than was originally ​planned: City ​officials are ​currentlystruggling with how to stretch ​limited water ​supplies.
[T] if something stretches ​money or other ​resources, it uses nearly all the ​money or ​resourcesavailable so that there is very little ​left: be stretched to breaking point/the limit The ​aviationinfrastructure has been stretched to ​breakingpoint.be stretched thin When ​people and ​funding are stretched ​thin, ​companies may ​find they're not putting enough ​resources behind the ​ideas that promise the greatest ​shareholderreturns.stretch a budget/finances The ​takeover will stretch the company's ​finances.
[T] MARKETING to use a ​brand that already exists to ​sell new and different ​products and ​services: The ​company is ​trying to stretch its ​brand to ​cover anything that can be ​soldonline.
[T] to ​force someone to use all their ​intelligence or ​skills: My ​currentjob isn't really stretching me enough.

stretchnoun

uk   us   /stretʃ/
a stretch used to describe something that you ​think will be very difficult to ​achieve, very ​expensive, etc.: The ​pricetag on the ​business may prove to be a stretch.
20 hours/5 days/6 weeks, etc. at a stretch if you do something for 20 ​hours, etc. at a stretch, you do it continuously for that ​period of ​time: Workers on an ​oilrig often do 12-hour days for 14 days at a stretch.
work/be at full stretch to be ​working as hard as you possibly can: OPECmembers are at ​full stretch and cannot ​pump more ​oil.
(Definition of stretch from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of stretch?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

forage

to go from place to place searching, especially for food

Word of the Day

Meerkat meme
Meerkat meme
by Colin McIntosh,
September 03, 2015
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More