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1. To extend one's arms and legs as far as they will go. Some of the apartments in this city are so tiny that you can't even stretch out fully when you're standing up. The dog stretched out across the whole bed, leaving no room for me or my wife.
2. To cause something to lengthen, expand, or distend. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stretch" and "out." Quit pulling on the sleeves like that, or you'll stretch them out! They then stretch the cloth out over large racks so that it can dry in the sunshine.
3. To extend something outward to reach someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stretch" and "out." He stretched out his hand to the girl dangling from the ledge. The ants stretch their antennae out to sense their surroundings.
4. To strain one's muscles by over-extending them, especially to make them limber or to relieve a cramp or soreness. Make sure you stretch out before you exercise, or you could do some serious damage to yourself. I recommend that you stretch out as often as possible to avoid letting your back seize up like that.
5. To extend a muscle to a point of strain, especially to make it limber or to relieve a cramp or soreness. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stretch" and "out." I need to stretch my legs out after such a long run. She began stretching out her arms and legs in preparation for the match.
6. To prolong the duration of something . A noun or pronoun can be used between "stretch" and "out." You can tell they're trying to stretch the show out with all these silly improv routines happening between the main acts. There was no need for them to stretch out the meeting to 90 minutes just to go over all the details from the financial reports.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
stretch someone or something out
to extend or draw out someone or something. Molly stretched the baby out to change his clothes. She stretched out the baby, who had rolled into a ball.
stretch something out (to someone or something)
to reach something out to someone or something. Jeff stretched his hand out to Tiffany. He stretched out his hand to the visitor.
[for one] to extend and stretch one's body to its full length. She lay down, stretched out, and relaxed for the first time in days. I need a bigger bed. I can't stretch out in this one.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To lengthen, widen, or distend something: The shoulders of the old coat were stretched out of shape. Don't put your big feet in my shoes or you'll stretch them out!
2. To become lengthened, widened, or distended: The sweater stretched out because it was hung on a hanger.
3. To reach or put something forth; extend something: The firefighters stretched out their hands to pull the child out of the well. Your elbow is probably not broken if you can stretch your arm out like that.
4. To extend oneself when lying down: Feel free to stretch yourself out on the couch. I had just stretched out on the sofa when the doorbell rang.
5. To lie down at full length: The cat stretched out on the bed.
6. To prolong: I was supposed to be back at work yesterday, but I decided to stretch out my vacation. The film was too short, so the director added new scenes to stretch it out to 90 minutes.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.