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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Stretch \Stretch\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Stretched; p. pr. & vb. n. Stretching.] [OE. strecchen, AS. streccan; akin to D. strekken, G. strecken, OHG. strecchen, Sw. str["a]cka, Dan. str[ae]kke; cf. AS. str[ae]ck, strec, strong, violent, G. strack straight; of uncertain origin, perhaps akin to E. strong. Cf. Straight.]

  1. To reach out; to extend; to put forth.

    And stretch forth his neck long and small.

    I in conquest stretched mine arm.

  2. To draw out to the full length; to cause to extend in a straight line; as, to stretch a cord or rope.

  3. To cause to extend in breadth; to spread; to expand; as, to stretch cloth; to stretch the wings.

  4. To make tense; to tighten; to distend forcibly.

    The ox hath therefore stretched his yoke in vain.

  5. To draw or pull out to greater length; to strain; as, to stretch a tendon or muscle.

    Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve.

  6. To exaggerate; to extend too far; as, to stretch the truth; to stretch one's credit.

    They take up, one day, the most violent and stretched prerogative.


Stretching \Stretch"ing\, a. & n. from Stretch, v.

Stretching course (Masonry), a course or series of stretchers. See Stretcher, 2.


n. 1 The act by which something is stretched. 2 A form of physical exercise in which a specific skeletal muscle (or muscle group) is deliberately elongated to its fullest length in order to improve the muscle's felt elasticity and reaffirm comfortable muscle tone. vb. (present participle of stretch English)

  1. adj. extending far; "beyond the misty gray of the rain he saw the stretching hutment"; "wide-spreading plains" [syn: stretching(a), wide-spreading]

  2. n. act of expanding by lengthening or widening

  3. exercise designed to extend the limbs and muscles to their full extent [syn: stretch]


Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle's felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.

In its most basic form, stretching is a natural and instinctive activity; it is performed by humans and many other animals. It can be accompanied by yawning. Stretching often occurs instinctively after waking from sleep, after long periods of inactivity, or after exiting confined spaces and areas.

Increasing flexibility through stretching is one of the basic tenets of physical fitness. It is common for athletes to stretch before and after exercise in order to reduce risk of injury and increase performance.

Stretching can be dangerous when performed incorrectly. There are many techniques for stretching in general, but depending on which muscle group is being stretched, some techniques may be ineffective or detrimental, even to the point of causing tears, hypermobility, instability, or permanent damage to the tendons, ligaments, and muscle fiber. The physiological nature of stretching and theories about the effect of various techniques are therefore subject to heavy inquiry.

Stretching (body piercing)

Stretching, in the context of body piercing, is the deliberate expansion of a healed piercing for the purpose of wearing certain types of jewelry. Ear piercings are the most commonly stretched piercings, with nasal septum piercings, tongue piercings and lip piercings/ lip plates following close behind. While all piercings can be stretched to some degree, cartilage piercings are usually more difficult to stretch and more likely to form hypertrophic scars if stretched quickly. Dermal punching is generally the preferred method for accommodating larger jewelry in cartilage piercings.

Stretching is usually done in small increments to minimize the potential for damaging the healed fistula or creating scar tissue. In North America, most stretching methods go up by a single even-sized gauge increment at a time. 00g, or 10 mm, is considered "the point of no return" where anything 10 mm and up will not close to a standard piercing size, while 9 and under will. In Europe and most of the rest of the world, jewelry is metric, but the increments between standard sizes are similar. See the article: Body jewelry sizes.

Stretching (disambiguation)

Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific skeletal muscle is deliberately elongated to its fullest length.

Stretching may also refer to:

  • Canvas stretching, the lengthening of a canvas by pulling
  • Stretching (body piercing), the deliberate expansion of a healed fistula for the purpose of wearing body piercing jewelry
  • Vortex stretching, the lengthening of vortices in three-dimensional fluid flow

Usage examples of "stretching".

The house has many rooms and outside is the beach and the ocean, stretching all the way to the sky.

West and his team, stretching upward for maybe 100 metres, ending at the left-hand sentry tower.

A ragged tan arc appeared, stretching from just above the food nipples to the ceiling.

He put his head through the doorway and indicated the blue wall stretching right and left.

He followed them out into the office, stretching, contemplating his own best pursuit for the next several hours until it was time to meet Van Deef.

They had emerged upon an area of tilted, broken slabs of moss-covered rock, stretching 50 yards to right and left and 40 before them.

The observer came to halt above white sand, stretching over pools of water to the middle distance where breakers churned, announcing the edge of the ocean.

He looked over his shoulder but there was no motion in or about the other tanks, stretching in columns right and left to the far walls.

Shaking her head, she rose on her arms and looked around, recognising the car transfer passageway of New Chatterford, the huge black car stretching right and left before her.

In its place appeared a long corridor with wide-spaced rails stretching its length, the brown floor of the New Chatterford ballroom visible in the opening at the far end.

Teeth east and stretching west to the Streleheim in a blanket that shrouded everything between.

The mountains sheltering the bluff on which Tyrsis was settled rose behind them, a jagged black wall against the light of the dawn breaking east, the shadow of its peaks stretching away north and west across the plains like a dark stain until it disappeared into the trees of the forests beyond.

They rose out of gullies and ravines, from forests and solitary groves, stretching this way and that as if to flex their limbs on waking from the sleep that prepared them for going abroad to hunt.

Par caught his breath and leaned forward, stretching out as far as he could from the edge of the drop to make certain that he was not deceived, that he was not mistaken .

Wren disengaged herself from the straps and climbed down, stretching her cramped muscles.