an area of land or water, especially one that is long and narrow
length of land/water[countable]
a beautiful stretch of countryside
a continuous period of time
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).
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.
used to emphasize that a negative statement is true:
My family wasn't wealthy by any stretch of the imagination.
the last part of a track before the end of a race
the last part of an activity, trip, or process:
As they enter the home stretch of the campaign, the President's lead has grown.
the ability a material has to increase in length or width without tearing [↪ stretchy]
7 British English
using everything that is available:
With staff shortages and appalling weather conditions, the emergency services were at full stretch.
with your body or part of your body stretched as far as possible:
He dived and caught the ball at full stretch.
a period of time spent in prison