1. Act of stretching, or state of being stretched; reach; effort; struggle; strain; as, a stretch of the limbs; a stretch of the imagination.
"By stretch of arms the distant shore to gain." -- Dryden.
"Those put a lawful authority upon the stretch, to the abuse of yower, under the color of prerogative." -- L'Estrange.
2. A continuous line or surface; a continuous space of time; as, grassy stretches of land.
"A great stretch of cultivated country." -- W. Black.
"But all of them left me a week at a stretch." -- E. Eggleston.
3. The extent to which anything may be stretched.
"Quotations, in their utmost stretch, can signify no more than that Luther lay under severe agonies of mind." -- Atterbury.
"This is the utmost stretch that nature can." -- Granville.
4. (Naut.) The reach or extent of a vessel's progress on one tack; a tack or board.
5. Course; direction; as, the stretch of seams of coal.
To be on the stretch
to be obliged to use one's utmost powers.
See under Home, a.