2 noun

length of land/water

[countable] an area of land or water, especially one that is long and narrow
stretch of
a beautiful stretch of countryside


[countable] a continuous period of time
stretch of
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).


[countable]HBH 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.

by any stretch (of the imagination)

spoken used to emphasize that a negative statement is true:
My family wasn't wealthy by any stretch of the imagination.

the home/final stretch

a) the last part of a track before the end of a race
b) the last part of an activity, trip, or process:
As they enter the home stretch of the campaign, the President's lead has grown.


[uncountable]TIM the ability a material has to increase in length or width without tearing [↪ stretchy]

at full stretch

British English
a) using everything that is available:
With staff shortages and appalling weather conditions, the emergency services were at full stretch.
b) HBH with your body or part of your body stretched as far as possible:
He dived and caught the ball at full stretch.


[countable usually singular] informalSCJ a period of time spent in prison

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