by any stretch of the imagination

by any stretch of the imagination

as much as anyone could imagine; as much as is imaginable. (Often negative.) I don't see how anyone by any stretch of the imagination could fail to understand what my last sentence meant.
See also: any, imagination, of, stretch

not by any stretch of the imagination

  also by no stretch of the imagination
if you say that by no stretch of the imagination can you describe something or someone in a particular way, you mean that this way of describing them is certainly not correct She was never a great player, not by any stretch of the imagination. He's pleasant looking but by no stretch of the imagination could you describe him as handsome.
See bend the rules
See also: any, imagination, of, stretch
References in periodicals archive ?
Well, I have to say by any stretch of the imagination 300 is not huge is it?
The SNP are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
So although I am not a fan by any stretch of the imagination of the Labour group it would appear that when you talk about local representation in the case of Labour it does not exist.
REVIEW BY any stretch of the imagination, this third film in The Hobbit series is an ambitious, well-made blockbuster.
England weren't terrible, by any stretch of the imagination.
But Jeffrey, who steps down as Linfield manager at the end of the season, said: "It is not over by any stretch of the imagination.
They are always a very competitive team and have got some excellent cricketers and we can't allow ourselves to think it is going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
A driving licence has no correlation with the earnings of a person by any stretch of the imagination.
Black powder is not slow burning by any stretch of the imagination.
Unlike Frankel, I wouldn't say he is a good thing when he runs by any stretch of the imagination.
It is not a major incident by any stretch of the imagination, and it is a shame that people will think anything other than that.
It was not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination but all credit to the players for their efforts.
Lawrence Seaway was not easily built, not by any stretch of the imagination.
These schemes are not something for the community by any stretch of the imagination but they can engender money for the council.
Insurance does not, by any stretch of the imagination, cover that need," he says.