stretch1 S3 W3
make something bigger/looser
a) [intransitive and transitive]
to make something bigger or looser by pulling it, or to become bigger or looser as a result of being pulled:
A spider's web can stretch considerably without weakening.
Where can I buy those things that stretch your shoes?
b) [intransitive not in progressive]
if a material stretches, it can become bigger or longer when you pull it and then return to its original shape when you stop
to straighten your arms, legs, or body to full length:
body[intransitive and transitive]HBH
Carl sat up in bed, yawned, and stretched.
Always stretch before exercising.
to reach a long way for something
reach[intransitive always +adverb/preposition]
Ann stretched across the couch and grabbed the phone.
to pull something so that it is tight:
make something tight[transitive]
The canvas is stretched over a wooden frame.
to continue over a period of time or in a series, or make something do this
time/series[intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition]
stretch into/on/over etc
Berg's career as a government official stretched over twenty years.
With a goal in the second half, Spurs stretched their lead to 3-0.
to spread out or cover a large area of land
in space[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
stretch to/into/away etc
Row after row of orange trees stretched to the horizon.
a line stretching around the block
to go for a walk, especially after sitting for a long time
to be almost beyond the limits of what someone can accept or believe:
The kids stretch my patience to the limit.
to allow something that would not normally be allowed by a rule or limit:
rule/limit[transitive] British English
This 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)
to say or write something that is not completely true:
Reporters sometimes stretch the facts to make a point.
to make something seem more important, bigger etc than it really is:
He's a good player, but 'world class' is stretching it.
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 time:
food/money[intransitive and transitive]
I'm going to have to stretch this $20 until payday.
to have hardly enough money, supplies, time etc for your needs:
We're stretched at the moment, otherwise we'd go.
14 British English
if someone's money will not stretch to something, they cannot afford it:
The budget won't stretch to a new car this year.
to make someone use all of their skill, abilities, or intelligence:
The work's too easy. The students aren't being stretched enough.
stretch outphrasal verb
to lie down, usually in order to sleep or rest:
I'm just going to stretch out on the couch for ten minutes.
to put out your hand, foot etc in order to reach something:
Jimmy stretched out his hand to take the candy.