Definition for STRETCH


  1. To be extended; to be drawn out in length or in breadth, or both. A wet hempen cord or cloth contracts; in drying, it stretches.
  2. To be extended; to spread; as, a lake stretches over a hundred miles of earth. Lake Erie stretches from Niagara nearly to Huron. Hence,
  3. To stretch to, is to reach.
  4. To be extended or to bear extension without breaking, as elastic substances. The inner membrane … because it would stretch and yield, remained unbroken. – Boyle.
  5. To sally beyond the truth; to exaggerate. A man who is apt to stretch, has less credit than others.
  6. In navigation, to sail; to direct a course. It is often understood to signify to sail under a great spread of canvas close hauled. In this it differs from stand, which implies no press of sail. We were standing to the east, when we saw a ship stretching to the southward.
  7. To make violent efforts in running.

Return to page 285 of the letter “S”.