1. To reach out; to extend; to put forth. "And stretch forth his neck long and small." (Chaucer) "I in conquest stretched mine arm." (Shak)
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." (Shak)
5. To draw or pull out to greater length; to strain; as, to stretch a tendon or muscle. "Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve." (Doddridge)
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." (Burke)
Origin: OE. Strecchen, AS. Streccan; akin to D. Strekken, G. Strecken, OHG. Strecchen, Sw. Stracka, Dan. Straekke; cf. AS. Straeck, strec, strong, violent, G. Strack straight; of uncertain origin, perhaps akin to E. Strong. Cf. Straight.
(01 Mar 1998)