stretch Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Definition of “stretch” - English Dictionary

Definition of "stretch" - American English Dictionary

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 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.


 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)

Definition of "stretch" - British English Dictionary

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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.
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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.
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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.


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).
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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 ​ 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 Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

Definition of "stretch" - Business English Dictionary

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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 ​ 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.


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)
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