From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishstretchstretch1 /stretʃ/ ●●●S3W3 verb1make something bigger/loosera)[intransitive, transitive]LOOSEBIG to make something bigger or looser by pulling it, or to become bigger or looser as a result of being pulledA spider’s web can stretch considerably without weakening.Where can I buy those things that stretch your shoes?b)[intransitive not in progressive]BIGLONG if a material stretches, it can become bigger or longer when you pull it and then return to its original shape when you stop2body [intransitive, transitive]HBH to straighten your arms, legs, or body to full lengthCarl sat up in bed, yawned, and stretched.Always stretch before exercising.3reach [intransitive always +adv/preposition] to reach a long way for somethingstretch across/overAnn stretched across the couch and grabbed the phone.4make something tight [transitive]TIGHT to pull something so that it is tightThe canvas is stretched over a wooden frame.5time/series [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition]CONTINUE/NOT STOP to continue over a period of time or in a series, or to make something do thisstretch into/on/over etcBerg’s career as a government official stretched over 20 years.With a goal in the second half, Spurs stretched their lead to 3–0.6in space [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]DISTANCE to spread out or cover a large area of landstretch to/into/away etcRow after row of orange trees stretched to the horizon.a line stretching around the block7 →stretch your legs8 →stretch (somebody’s) patience/credulity9rule/limit [transitive] British EnglishLET/ALLOW to allow something that would not normally be allowed by a rule or limitThis once, I’ll stretch the rules and let you leave work early.We’ll stretch a point (=allow a rule to be broken) and let the baby travel free this time. → stretch the rulesat rule1(1)10 →stretch the truth/facts11 →be stretching it12food/money [intransitive, transitive] if you make an amount of money, food etc stretch or it stretches, you use less of it than you usually would so that you have it for a longer timeI’m going to have to stretch this $20 until payday.13 →be stretched (to the limit)14 →not stretch to something15abilities [transitive]EASY to make someone use all of their skill, abilities, or intelligenceThe work’s too easy. The students aren’t being stretched enough. →stretch out→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
stretch• He stretched a large tarpaulin over the vehicle, tying it down at the corners.• Now there, I'd stretch a point.• Fish cakes of all kinds are a terrific way to use up leftovers or stretch a quantity of protein.• The oil slickstretched all the way to the horizon.• UncleJohn pulled hard on the bell-rope, which stretched and then broke.• There were poppy fields stretching as far as the eye could see.• elasticated straps designed to stretch easily• I was disappointed with the course -- I didn't feel I was being stretched enough.• Today, just 5% remains of the original wooded land that stretched from the Atlantic to the Mississippi.• This fabric will stretch if you wash it in hot water.• Norma picked up a stocking, stretched it and then pulled it onto her foot.• Careful, don't stretch it, it'll snap!• Sometimes we have to stretch one day's food into two.• Threads are then stretched or loosened by the weaver moving her body back and forth.• It would stretch round the equator 97 times or reach to the moon and back five times.• The elasticstretches so that the shoe can be slipped on and off.• Campersstretchedstring between posts to mark off their sites.• The exercises are designed to stretch the abilities of even the most advanced students.• Stretch the canvas so that it covers the whole frame.• The game is a lot of fun, and it really stretches the kids.• Seth stretched the phone cord around the corner so that he could speak in private.• "Can I borrow your boots?" "No, you'll stretch them."• Lycra shorts will stretch to fit you perfectly.• I think this sweater must have stretched when I washed it.stretch across/over• If this loyalty is stretched over a period of 28 years, it is certainly worthy of note!• You all saw that to begin with the tape measure stretched across from one side to the other, exactly.• Long-distancerunner Bill Emmerton once saw himself in the chain of life stretching over many generations.• That amount would be stretched over more than 25 years.• In a process which stretched over several weeks they exchanged ideas.• They stretched across the Peninsula from Newport News to Hampton.• A yellow tape is stretched across the road and Lisa hits it, finishing in 37 hours and 1 minute.stretch into/on/over etc• Long-distance runner Bill Emmerton once saw himself in the chain of life stretching over many generations.• So does Tony Gwynn, who knows what it will be like should his pursuit of. 400 somehow stretch intoSeptember.• It was a rough job, but somehow it didn't look that different with the skin stretched overstraw instead of ribs.• Imagine a single golftournamentstretched over that time.• Joan and Jack enjoy meeting their guests and many breakfastsstretch into the mid-morning as new friendships are made.• As the wrangling has stretched into the new year, Clinton has moved up some in public esteem.• The lights of an aircraft were stretched ontimbers, but no seaplane - and I did not hit one.• It was from these vines, which stretched into Verzenay, Mailly and Verzy, that the wines of Sillery were made.stretch to/into/away etc• Except, of course, for the lone and level sands of the wreckedeconomy, which stretch away in all directions.• The castle-like stretch tointeriorskytwinkling with crystal lights.• She stretched tomanipulate the hot tap with her toe.• To his left three guards had taken the strain on a rope that ran tight and stretched to the building.• Classes are carefully time-tabled throughout the day, and occasionally stretch into the evenings.• Concreterunwaysstretched to the horizon.• It was from these vines, which stretched into Verzenay, Mailly and Verzy, that the wines of Sillery were made.stretch a point• Now there, I'd stretch a point.• We have stretched points, legitimately and logically we trust, in other areas of the structure.• But we are stretching a point, you might argue.
stretchstretch2 ●○○ noun1length of land/water [countable]AREA an area of land or water, especially one that is long and narrowstretch ofa beautiful stretch of countryside2time [countable]CONTINUOUS a continuous period of timestretch ofa stretch of three weeks without sunshineShe doesn’t leave the house for long stretches of time.She rarely sleeps for eight hours at a stretch (=without stopping).3body [countable]HBH the action of stretching a part of your body out to its full length, or a particular way of doing thisThe ski instructor showed us some special stretches.4 →by any stretch (of the imagination)5 →the home/final stretch6material [uncountable]TIMLONGBIG the ability a material has to increase in length or width without tearing → stretchy7 →at full stretch8jail [countable usually singular] informalSCJPERIOD OF TIME a period of time spent in prison
Examples from the Corpus
stretch• At 650 acres Draycote Water is the biggest stretch of water in the southMidlands and offers a wide range of activities.• He spent several briefstretches in jail for minoroffences.• This is the last game in a four-day stretch here at the Forum.• an emptystretch of highway• Each slowcurve of the waterway showed another glitteringstretch with no end, however.• She looked round and saw this woman also had stretch marks on her stomach.• Some of the Acutes hide grins, and McMurphy takes a hugestretch, yawns, winks at Harding.• Washing in hot water can make the fabric lose its stretch.• He entertained himself for long stretches with trucks and cars, mumbling to himself as he crashed them together.• Sometimes between battles, there were long stretches of time when nothing happened.• I do my stretches the minute I get out of bed.• The stretch of coastline between Barcelona and the French border is called the Costa Brava.• This stretch of road is oyster country and there are several spots in Marshall and Tomales to purchase the mollusks.• During their worststretch of 1996, the Padres lost 19 of their 23 games.• a seven-year stretchstretch of• a stretch of three weeks without sunshine• an empty stretch of highwaylong stretches of time• It was useful, he dis-covered, to cultivate a reserved demeanor, to stay silent for long stretches of time.stretchstretch3 adjective [only before noun]stretch clothes or material stretch if you pull them, and then return to their original shapestretch Levis
Examples from the Corpus
stretch• Not boring white or dark blue broadcloth, but in an explosion of colors and fabrics, from stretchdenim to corduroy.• Scuba-tight stretchpants, uncomfortable and a little too revealing, are out.From Longman Business Dictionarystretchstretch /stretʃ/ verb1[transitive]FINANCE if something stretches an amount of money or a supply of something, it uses it up so you have hardly enough for your needsOur finances are stretched to the limit.2[intransitive, transitive]FINANCE to make an amount of money last longer than usual by being careful how it is spent and not wasting itAll departments are having to stretch their budgets.3[intransitive, transitive]MARKETING if a company stretches a brand, it starts to use an existing brand name on a different type of product, hoping that people will buy it because they recognize the nameFollowing Coca-Cola’s decision to market clothes, people asked how far a brand can be stretched.→ See Verb table