extend vs stretch what difference

what is difference between extend and stretch



From Middle English extenden, from Anglo-Norman extendre, estendre, from Latin extendō (I stretch out).


  • IPA(key): /ɛkˈstɛnd/
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd
  • Hyphenation: ex‧tend


extend (third-person singular simple present extends, present participle extending, simple past and past participle extended)

  1. (intransitive) To increase in extent.
  2. (intransitive) To possess a certain extent; to cover an amount of space.
    The desert extended for miles in all directions.
  3. (transitive) To cause to increase in extent.
  4. (transitive) To cause to last for a longer period of time.
  5. (transitive) To straighten (a limb).
  6. (transitive) To bestow; to offer; to impart; to apply.
    to extend sympathy to the suffering
    to extend credit to a valued customer
  7. To increase in quantity by weakening or adulterating additions.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of G. P. Burnham to this entry?)
    • 1897, Alonzo Lewis, James Robinson Newhall, History of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts (page 155)
      [] the exalted morality of those virtuous brethren in the trade who, with consciences as weak as their own “extended” liquors, sought to convince him that to reduce the drink was a mercy to the poor deluded toper.
  8. (Britain, law) To value, as lands taken by a writ of extent in satisfaction of a debt; to assign by writ of extent.
  9. (object-oriented programming) Of a class: to be an extension or subtype of, or to be based on, a prototype or a more abstract class.
    Synonym: inherit
  10. (intransitive, US, military) To reenlist for a further period.
    • 1993, The Leatherneck (volume 76, page xxxvi)
      Two years later, back to amtracs, this time at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, and I liked it so much I extended.


  • enlarge
  • expand
  • increase
  • lengthen
  • stretch
  • widen

Related terms



  • dentex



From Middle English strecchen, from Old English streċċan (to stretch, hold out, extend, spread out, prostrate), from Proto-West Germanic *strakkjan (to stretch, make taut or tight), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)treg-, *streg-, *treg- (stiff, rigid). Cognate with West Frisian strekke, Dutch strekken (to stretch, straighten), German strecken (to stretch, straighten, elongate), Danish strække (to stretch), Swedish sträcka (to stretch), Dutch strak (taut, tight), Albanian shtriqem (to stretch). More at stark.


  • IPA(key): /stɹɛtʃ/
  • Rhymes: -ɛtʃ


stretch (third-person singular simple present stretches, present participle stretching, simple past and past participle stretched or (obsolete) straught or (obsolete) straight)

  1. (transitive) To lengthen by pulling.
  2. (intransitive) To lengthen when pulled.
    • 1660, Robert Boyle, New Experiments Physico-Mechanical: Touching the Spring of the Air and their Effects
      The inner membrane [] because it would stretch and yield, remained unbroken.
  3. (transitive) To pull tight.
  4. (figuratively, transitive) To get more use than expected from a limited resource.
  5. (figuratively, transitive) To make inaccurate by exaggeration.
  6. (intransitive) To extend physically, especially from limit point to limit point.
  7. (intransitive, transitive) To extend one’s limbs or another part of the body in order to improve the elasticity of one’s muscles
  8. (intransitive) To extend to a limit point
  9. (transitive) To increase.
  10. (obsolete, colloquial) To stretch the truth; to exaggerate.
  11. (nautical) To sail by the wind under press of canvas.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ham. Nav. Encyc to this entry?)
  12. (slang, transitive, archaic) To execute by hanging.
  13. To make great demands on the capacity or resources of something.


See also

  • pandiculate


stretch (plural stretches)

  1. An act of stretching.
  2. The ability to lengthen when pulled.
  3. A course of thought which diverts from straightforward logic, or requires extraordinary belief or exaggeration.
  4. A segment of a journey or route.
  5. A segment or length of material.
  6. (Britain, slang, archaic) A walk.
    • a. 1941, Evelyn Underhill, quoted in 2010, Evelyn Underhill, ‎Carol Poston, The Making of a Mystic: New and Selected Letters of Evelyn Underhill (page 81)
      In the afternoon I went for a stretch into the country, & about 4 it cleared up pretty well, so I hurried back & we got a cart & drove to Bassano, a little town about 8 miles off, that we wanted to see.
  7. (baseball) A quick pitching delivery used when runners are on base where the pitcher slides his leg instead of lifting it.
  8. (baseball) A long reach in the direction of the ball with a foot remaining on the base by a first baseman in order to catch the ball sooner.
  9. (informal) Term of address for a tall person.
  10. (horse racing) The homestretch, the final straight section of the track leading to the finish.
  11. A length of time.
    • After the harvest there was a stretch of clear dry weather, and the animals toiled harder than ever []
    1. (Ireland) Extended daylight hours, especially said of the evening in springtime when compared to the shorter winter days.
    2. (sports) The period of the season between the trade deadline and the beginning of the playoffs.
    3. (slang) A jail or prison term.
      Synonym: stint
      1. (slang) A jail or prison term of one year’s duration.
    4. A single uninterrupted sitting; a turn.
  12. A stretch limousine.


Derived terms


  • Esperanto: streĉi

Further reading

  • stretch at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • (a walk): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary


  • strecht

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