- a kind of litter, often of canvas stretched on a frame, for carrying the sick, wounded, or dead.
- a similar litter on wheels, adapted for use in ambulances and hospitals.
- a person or thing that stretches.
- any of various instruments for extending, widening, distending, etc.
- a bar, beam, or fabricated material, serving as a tie or brace.
- Masonry. a brick or stone laid in a wall so that its longer edge is exposed or parallel to the surface.Compare header(def 5a).
- a simple wooden framework on which the canvas for an oil painting is stretched.
- a framework connecting and bracing the legs of a piece of furniture.
- one member of this framework.
- a crosspiece that is set athwart and near the bottom in a small boat, and against which the feet of a rower are braced.
- one of the thin, sliding rods connecting the canopy and handle of an umbrella.
- to stretch (canvas for a painting) on a stretcher.
Origin of stretcher
- to draw out or extend (oneself, a body, limbs, wings, etc.) to the full length or extent (often followed by out): to stretch oneself out on the ground.
- to hold out, reach forth, or extend (one's arm, head, etc.).
- to extend, spread, or place (something) so as to reach from one point or place to another: to stretch a rope across a road.
- to draw tight or taut: to stretch the strings of a violin.
- to lengthen, widen, distend, or enlarge by tension: to stretch a rubber band.
- to draw out, extend, or enlarge unduly: The jacket was stretched at the elbows.
- to extend, force, or make serve beyond the normal or proper limits; strain: to stretch the imagination; to stretch the facts; to stretch food to feed extra guests; to stretch money to keep within a budget.
- to extend or strain (oneself) to the utmost, as by intense exertion; tax.
- to increase the quantity of (a beverage, food, paint, etc.) by dilution or admixing: They caught the bartender stretching the gin with water.
- Radio and Television. to prolong or slow down (action or pace) in order not to end too early: to stretch a show; to stretch the action two minutes.
- to recline at full length (usually followed by out): to stretch out on a couch.
- to extend the hand or to reach, as for something.
- to extend over a distance or area or in a particular direction: The forest stretches for miles.
- to extend in time: His memory stretches back to his early childhood.
- to stretch oneself by extending the limbs and lengthening the muscles to the utmost: to stretch and yawn.
- to become stretched, or admit of being stretched, to greater length, width, etc., as any elastic or ductile material.
- Radio and Television. to reduce the pace or slow down the action of a radio or television program.
- an act or instance of stretching.
- the state of being stretched.
- a continuous length, distance, tract, or expanse: a stretch of meadow.
- Horse Racing. the backstretch or homestretch of a racetrack.
- Baseball. a short windup, usually used to keep base runners from taking too long a lead, in which the pitcher starts the pitching motion with hands together at the waist, raises them to or above the head, brings them back to the waist, and, after a momentary pause, delivers the ball.
- an extent in time; duration: for a stretch of ten years.
- elasticity or capacity for extension.
- Slang. a term of imprisonment: He's doing a stretch in the pen.
- the act or fact of stretching or extending something beyond reasonable or proper limits: You wouldn't call her a genius by any stretch of the imagination. It's quite a stretch for me to believe his story.
- (initial capital letter) a nickname for a tall, lanky person.
- made of synthetic or composite yarn having a sufficiently low denier or having been subjected to any of several special mechanical treatments to permit increased elasticity: stretch girdle; stretch pants.
- (of yarn) modified or twisted so as to afford high elasticity.
- Also stretched. of or relating to a conveyance, as a limousine or airliner, whose seating area is expanded to carry more passengers or afford greater legroom and to allow space for other comforts and amenities.
Origin of stretch
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for stretcher
And the next time his friend saw Moses, it was online; his bloody body was slapped on a stretcher.Alleged Cop Killer’s Blood-Soaked Screenplay
December 24, 2014
They carry it like a stretcher, though they're missing one stretcher-bearer.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq
Nathan Bradley Bethea
August 31, 2014
Paramedics now headed into the shop with a stretcher to aid the gunman.Brooklyn Shooting Hits Close to Bill de Blasio’s Park Slope Home
July 1, 2014
There was a stretcher near their position— someone had brought it out earlier and leaned it up near the truck.
Prep work now short- circuited, Carter kicked the ammo cans out of the way and snatched up the stretcher.
At the station I got a cup of hot milk, and spent the night on a stretcher.With Manchesters in the East
Gerald B. Hurst
Two attendants came in, bearing Captain Beaudoin on a stretcher.The Downfall
I was always seeing him on a stretcher, with his head smashed.L'Assommoir
Blaise had been laid on a stretcher provided with a mattress.Fruitfulness
The young fellow was lying on his back on the stretcher, looking very pale.The Fat and the Thin
- a device for transporting the ill, wounded, or dead, consisting of a frame covered by canvas or other material
- a strengthening often decorative member joining the legs of a chair, table, etc
- the wooden frame on which canvas is stretched and fixed for oil painting
- a tie beam or brace used in a structural framework
- a brick or stone laid horizontally with its length parallel to the length of a wallCompare header (def. 4)
- rowing a fixed board across a boat on which an oarsman braces his feet
- Australian and NZ a camp bed
- slang an exaggeration or lie
- to transport (a sick or injured person) on a stretcher
- to draw out or extend or be drawn out or extended in length, area, etc
- to extend or be extended to an undue degree, esp so as to distort or lengthen permanently
- to extend (the limbs, body, etc)
- (tr) to reach or suspend (a rope, etc) from one place to another
- (tr) to draw tight; tighten
- (often foll by out, forward, etc) to reach or hold (out); extend
- (intr usually foll by over) to extend in timethe course stretched over three months
- (intr; foll by for, over, etc) (of a region, etc) to extend in length or area
- (intr) (esp of a garment) to be capable of expanding, as to a larger sizesocks that will stretch
- (tr) to put a great strain upon or extend to the limit
- to injure (a muscle, tendon, ligament, etc) by means of a strain or sprain
- (tr often foll by out) to make do with (limited resources)to stretch one's budget
- (tr) informal to expand or elaborate (a story, etc) beyond what is credible or acceptablethat's stretching it a bit
- (tr; often passive) to extend, as to the limit of one's abilities or talents
- archaic, or slang to hang or be hanged by the neck
- stretch a point
- to make a concession or exception not usually made
- to exaggerate
- stretch one's legs to take a walk, esp after a period of inactivity
- the act of stretching or state of being stretched
- a large or continuous expanse or distancea stretch of water
- extent in time, length, area, etc
- capacity for being stretched, as in some garments
- (as modifier)stretch pants
- horse racing the section or sections of a racecourse that are straight, esp the final straight section leading to the finishing line
- slang a term of imprisonment
- at a stretch mainly British
- with some difficulty; by making a special effort
- if really necessary or in extreme circumstances
- at one time
Word Origin and History for stretcher
Old English streccan, from Proto-Germanic *strakjanan (cf. Danish strække, Swedish sträcka, Old Frisian strekka, Old High German strecchan, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Old High German, German strecken "to stretch"), perhaps a variant of the root of stark, or else from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (see strain).
Meaning "to extend (the limbs or wings)" is from c.1200; that of "to lay out for burial" is from early 13c. To stretch one's legs "take a walk" is from c.1600. Meaning "to lengthen by force" first recorded late 14c.; figurative sense of "to enlarge beyond proper limits, exaggerate," is from 1550s. Stretch limo first attested 1973. Stretch marks is attested from 1960. Stretcher "canvas frame for carrying the sick or wounded" is first attested 1845.
1540s, "act of stretching," from stretch (v.); meaning "unbroken continuance of some activity" is first recorded 1680s; meaning "straightaway of a race course" (e.g. home stretch) is recorded from 1841.
- A litter, usually of canvas stretched over a frame, used to transport the sick, wounded, or dead.