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 formsout·stretch·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for outstretched

Contemporary Examples of outstretched

Historical Examples of outstretched

  • Beyond it, I saw you standing with outstretched arms, as if you sought to come to me, but could not.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • “With all my heart, sir,” said Dennet, coming to him with outstretched hands.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The face, the tone, the outstretched arm, all drew her irresistibly to him.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • Her eyes filled, and she stooped as though to kiss the outstretched hand.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • As the ladies rose, Walter came to me with outstretched hand.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for outstretched


verb (tr)

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

Word Origin and History for outstretched



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper