by any stretch

by any stretch

A shortened version of "by any stretch of the imagination," meaning as much or as far as one is able to imagine or believe. Usually used in the negative. It's looking like we're not going to win by any stretch. I can't see by any stretch how we're going to pull this off.
See also: any, stretch

by any stretch

Beyond ordinary limits, especially of the imagination. For example, She could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered a great actress. The phrase sometimes is put in the negative, by no stretch, as in By no stretch can that work be called an opera. [Late 1700s]
See also: any, stretch