Pronunciation: (strech),[key] —v.t. 1. to draw out or extend (oneself, a body, limbs, wings, etc.) to the full length or extent (often fol. by out): to stretch oneself out on the ground. 2. to hold out, reach forth, or extend (one's arm, head, etc.).
3. to extend, spread, or place (something) so as to reach from one point or place to another: to stretch a rope across a road. 4. to draw tight or taut: to stretch the strings of a violin. 5. to lengthen, widen, distend, or enlarge by tension: to stretch a rubber band. 6. to draw out, extend, or enlarge unduly: The jacket was stretched at the elbows. 7. to extend, force, or make serve beyond the normal or proper limits; strain: to stretch the imagination; to stretch the facts; to stretch food to feed extra guests; to stretch money to keep within a budget. 8. to extend or strain (oneself) to the utmost, as by intense exertion; tax.
9. to increase the quantity of (a beverage, food, paint, etc.) by dilution or admixing: They caught the bartender stretching the gin with water. 10. Radio and Television.to prolong or slow down (action or pace) in order not to end too early: to stretch a show; to stretch the action two minutes.
—v.i. 1. to recline at full length (usually fol. by out): to stretch out on a couch. 2. to extend the hand or to reach, as for something.
3. to extend over a distance or area or in a particular direction: The forest stretches for miles. 4. to extend in time: His memory stretches back to his early childhood. 5. to stretch oneself by extending the limbs and lengthening the muscles to the utmost: to stretch and yawn. 6. to become stretched, or admit of being stretched, to greater length, width, etc., as any elastic or ductile material.
7. Radio and Television.to reduce the pace or slow down the action of a radio or television program.
—n. 1. an act or instance of stretching.
2. the state of being stretched.
3. a continuous length, distance, tract, or expanse: a stretch of meadow. 4. Horse Racing.the backstretch or homestretch of a racetrack.
5. Baseball.a short windup, usually used to keep base runners from taking too long a lead, in which the pitcher starts the pitching motion with hands together at the waist, raises them to or above the head, brings them back to the waist, and, after a momentary pause, delivers the ball.
6. an extent in time; duration: for a stretch of ten years. 7. elasticity or capacity for extension.
8. Slang.a term of imprisonment: He's doing a stretch in the pen. 9. (cap.) a nickname for a tall, lanky person.
—adj. 1. made of synthetic or composite yarn having a sufficiently low denier or having been subjected to any of several special mechanical treatments to permit increased elasticity: stretch girdle; stretch pants. 2. (of yarn) modified or twisted so as to afford high elasticity.
3. Also,stretched.of or pertaining to a conveyance, as a limousine or airliner, whose seating area is expanded to carry more passengers or afford greater legroom and to allow space for other comforts and amenities.