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[out-strech] /ˌaʊtˈstrɛtʃ/
verb (used with object)
to stretch forth; extend:
to outstretch one's hand in welcome.
to stretch out; expand:
The rising population has outstretched the city.
to stretch beyond:
His behavior outstretches my patience.
Origin of outstretch
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at out-, stretch
Related forms
outstretcher, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for outstretched
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The boy lay with his face in the grass, and his outstretched hand grasping the lower rail of the fence.

  • Stuart took his outstretched hand, and led him into the library.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • Then they rested with awed admiration on the face of a great winged angel stooping with outstretched hand.

    The Dust of Conflict David Goodger (
  • Stuart replaced the papers and put the key in Bivens's outstretched hand.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • The next moment Alethea stood before her, with outstretched arms.

    Scenes and Characters Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Quiet and dark, beside him stood the Phantom, with its outstretched hand.

    A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
  • On the front is the American eagle with outstretched wings, with the national colors on either side.

    The Ceramic Art Jennie J. Young
British Dictionary definitions for outstretched


verb (transitive)
to extend or expand; stretch out
to stretch or extend beyond
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for outstretched



mid-14c., from out + stretch (v.). Related: Outstretched; outstretching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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