stretch - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “stretch”

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stretch

verb  us   /stretʃ/

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  us   /stretʃ/

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)
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