Etymology
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stretch (v.)

Old English streccan (transitive and intransitive) "to stretch, spread out, prostrate; reach, extend" (past tense strehte, past participle streht), from Proto-Germanic *strakjanan (source also of Danish strække, Swedish sträcka, Old Frisian strekka, Old High German strecchan, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Old High German, German strecken "to stretch, draw out"), perhaps a variant of the root of stark, or else from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (see string (n.)).

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. Related: Stretched; stretching.

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stretch (n.)

late 12c., "expanse of land;" 1540s, "act of stretching," from stretch (v.); meaning "unbroken continuance of some activity" is first recorded 1660s; meaning "straightaway of a race course" (as in home stretch) is recorded from 1839.

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stretcher (n.)

early 15c., "person who stretches," agent noun from stretch (v.). As "canvas frame for carrying the sick or wounded," from 1845.

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outstretch (v.)

"stretch forth, spread out, extend, expand," mid-14c., from out- stretch (v.). Related: Outstretched; outstretching.

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streak (v.2)

1768, "to go quickly, to rush, run at full speed," respelling (probably by association with streak (v.1)) of streek "to go quickly" (late 14c.), originally "to stretch oneself" (mid-13c.), a northern Middle English variant of stretch (v.). Related: Streaked; streaking.

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straight (adj.1)

late 14c., "direct, undeviating; not crooked, not bent or curved," of a person, "direct, honest;" properly "stretched," adjectival use of Old English streht (earlier streaht), past participle of streccan "to stretch" (see stretch (v.)). Related: Straightly; straightness.

Meaning "true, direct, honest" is from 1520s. Of communication, "clear, unambiguous," from 1862. Sense of "undiluted, uncompromising" (as in straight whiskey, 1874) is American English, first recorded 1856. As an adverb from c. 1300, "in a straight line, without swerving or deviating." Theatrical sense of "serious" (as opposed to popular or comic) is attested from 1895; vaudeville slang straight man first attested 1923.

Go straight in the underworld slang sense is from 1919; straighten up "become respectable" is from 1907. To play it straight is from 1906 in theater, 1907 in sports ("play fair"), with figurative extension; later perhaps also from jazz. Straight arrow "decent, conventional person" is 1969, from archetypal Native American brave name. Straight shooter is from 1928. Straight As "top grades" is from 1920.

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home (n.)

Old English ham "dwelling place, house, abode, fixed residence; estate; village; region, country," from Proto-Germanic *haimaz "home" (source also of Old Frisian hem "home, village," Old Norse heimr "residence, world," heima "home," Danish hjem, Middle Dutch heem, German heim "home," Gothic haims "village"), from PIE *(t)koimo-, suffixed form of root *tkei- "to settle, dwell, be home." As an adjective from 1550s. The old Germanic sense of "village" is preserved in place names and in hamlet.

'Home' in the full range and feeling of [Modern English] home is a conception that belongs distinctively to the word home and some of its Gmc. cognates and is not covered by any single word in most of the IE languages. [Buck]

Slang phrase make (oneself) at home "become comfortable in a place one does not live" dates from 1892 (at home "at one's ease" is from 1510s). To keep the home fires burning is a song title from 1914. To be nothing to write home about "unremarkable" is from 1907. Home movie is from 1919; home computer is from 1967. Home stretch (1841) is from horse racing (see stretch (n.)). Home economics as a school course first attested 1899; the phrase itself by 1879 (as "household management" is the original literal sense of economy, the phrase is etymologically redundant).

Home as the goal in a sport or game is from 1778. Home base in baseball attested by 1856; home plate by 1867. Home team in sports is from 1869; home field "grounds belonging to the local team" is from 1802 (the 1800 citation in OED 2nd ed. print is a date typo, as it refers to baseball in Spokane Falls). Home-field advantage attested from 1955.

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distend (v.)

c. 1400, "to stretch or spread in all directions, expand, swell out," from Latin distendere "to swell or stretch out, extend," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Related: Distended; distending.

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subtend (v.)

1560s, from Latin subtendere "to stretch underneath," from sub "under" (see sub-) + tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Related: Subtended; subtending.

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tenesmus (n.)

"a straining" (to void the contents of the bowels), 1520s, medical Latin, from Greek tenesmos "a straining," from teinein "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."

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