Definition of stretcher in English:



  • 1A framework of two poles with a long piece of canvas slung between them, used for carrying sick, injured, or dead people.

    • ‘Within minutes, the injured were being carried away on stretchers, clad in thermal blankets to keep them warm against shock.’
    • ‘After they were carried out on stretchers, paramedics checked them before they were taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment for minor injuries and shock.’
    • ‘Others were carried out on stretchers, covered in blood.’
    • ‘Emergency services were called and fire crew and paramedics strapped the two badly injured men onto stretchers before they were both airlifted to Wythenshawe Hospital, where they are currently being treated.’
    • ‘Some of the injured were carried away on stretchers.’
    • ‘As the captives escaped, residents and troops ran through the streets, and the wounded were carried off on stretchers.’
    • ‘Other papers showed the rows of stretchers of dead children, their relatives bending over them.’
    • ‘One source put the total at 100 people carried out on stretchers or injured, another claimed 30 people were in intensive care in the days after the raid.’
    • ‘Hostages who were still conscious were led to safety, while others had to be carried on stretchers into waiting ambulances.’
    • ‘Emergency teams were seen carrying the injured away on stretchers, and a state transportation spokeswoman says two people had to be freed from the bus.’
    • ‘Bystanders and ambulance workers made crude stretchers to carry the wounded to vehicles to take them to nearby hospitals.’
    • ‘Government helicopters buzzed over the scene as rescuers tied the injured to stretchers before forming a human chain and using ropes to pull them up the slope.’
    • ‘Behind the band, they carried stretchers, symbolic of the operational role played by the bandsmen in action.’
    • ‘At any time of the day or night, a tall RAF corporal would be seen helping to carry a stretcher containing an injured soldier into the tent.’
    • ‘A group of nurses and soldiers in camouflage carrying stretchers rushed towards the scene.’
    • ‘The injured man was carried on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance and rushed to Colchester General Hospital with a police escort.’
    • ‘It's a miracle how they carry those stretchers but they get through even though it takes ten men all day to move one stretcher case back three or four miles.’
    • ‘The injured man was carried on a stretcher by firefighters up a steep embankment to a waiting ambulance.’
    • ‘Several blackened prisoners were carried out helplessly on stretchers; they lay dying in front of us in the cold.’
    • ‘As soon as the lead ambulance arrived he was told who to evacuate and helped carry the injured on stretchers.’
    sedan chair, palanquin
    View synonyms
  • 2A wooden frame over which a canvas is spread and tautened ready for painting.

    • ‘Fortunately, the full lengths were not cut down, but were shortened by folding the unwanted canvas over a shorter stretcher.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, he simply stitched bags together and hung them on stretchers, forming grids that recall framed fabrics in ethnographic galleries.’
    • ‘It is very difficult to see the canvas in most reproductions, but in the original it is possible to make out the stretcher with two of its diagonal wooden corner-struts.’
    • ‘Orazio did not say what he spent on linseed oil, which he could have bought for five or six pence a pint, or on his canvas and stretchers, but they were not very costly in relation to artists' fees.’
    • ‘I wanted to do a painting, but the costs of acrylics and stretchers for each of my 75 students was beyond my budget.’
    • ‘The paintings were then stretched on good quality lightweight stretchers.’
    • ‘The artist might attempt to disguise them by extending her unprimed canvas beyond the stretcher, suggesting an alternative reading of the work as art object.’
    • ‘With scant regard for the convention of the stretcher as support, Farber's paintings are conceived as bifacial and may be installed recto or verso.’
    • ‘So the rest of the day is to be spent getting stretchers and canvases ready.’
    • ‘The structure of the stretcher, the tautness of the canvas and the transparency of the paint contribute to the total effect.’
    • ‘It was credible for the wall to look thickly mortared, but not for the wooden stretchers of a canvas, or a man's coat, to be similarly treated.’
    • ‘It is the skill of the craftsmen who produced the stretchers and frames that now becomes the subject of the viewer's interest.’
    • ‘Finally, wall works measuring about 34 by 26 inches with softly rounded corners featured Iris prints on leather mounted on canvas stretchers.’
    • ‘Gilliam is known primarily as a Color School painter who ‘liberated’ the canvas from its stretcher.’
    • ‘Despite the damage, the painting is on its original stretcher, has not been relined and is probably in its original frame.’
    • ‘They were like bed frames, or big painting stretchers.’
    • ‘He first paints a black monochrome square at the center of a large piece of raw canvas that has been conventionally stapled to a stretcher.’
    • ‘These looms were created from wooden stretcher bars, like the ones used to stretch painting canvas.’
    • ‘Another device he used to emphasize the objectness of his paintings was to leave exposed the ragged edge of the canvas and the staples used to attach it to the stretcher.’
    • ‘Since then most canvas paintings have been attached to lightweight wooden frameworks or stretchers.’
    1. 2.1[with modifier] A rod or frame used for expanding or tautening a specified thing:
      ‘sail stretchers’
      • ‘Figure 21 illustrates four different glove stretchers that often do double duty as glove powder dispensers and hand measurers.’
      • ‘Well, he said I needed a 'sail stretcher'.’
      • ‘A sail stretcher is fastened to the sail at the meeting point between the foot and leech of the sail and can be secured to the sail spar adjacent the rear extremity thereof in any suitable manner.’
      • ‘We have rented a carpet stretcher, but are having problems getting the wrinkles out.’
  • 3A rod or bar joining and supporting chair legs.

    • ‘They combine a joined front stretcher with turned side and back stretchers.’
    • ‘The stretcher configuration is also significant, for the placing of the medial stretcher well to the front, rather than mid-way between front and back legs, is entirely novel.’
    • ‘Reassemble the leg and stretcher, adding carpenter's wood glue before inserting the stretcher into the hole.’
    • ‘Except for the legs and stretchers, which were beautifully carved and turned, the chairs were completely covered with upholstery.’
    • ‘Chairs imported from New England, particularly Boston, influenced the design of this chair, especially in its stretchers, relatively light seat rails, and yoked crest.’
    • ‘Position the stretchers and side rails over the holes and drive them into place with the mallet.’
    • ‘Its seat is comprised of tongue-and-groove pieces, while the leg stretchers are doweled into place.’
    • ‘Despite the somewhat old-fashioned leg, the double-scrolled and finialled stretchers link it stylistically to the throne.’
    • ‘Even the swelled side stretchers are flatter and less graceful and seem to be the product of an efficient, and therefore presumably busy, shop.’
    • ‘The rocker's stiles, arms, and stretchers were made from unmilled hickory sticks, occasionally with the bark left on.’
    • ‘One needed a title, however, to appreciate the majesty of the tall, ostentatious chairs with upholstered, haughty-looking backs and stretchers reinforcing the legs.’
    • ‘Boston was producing leather-back chairs during this period with very bold ball-ring-ball turned front stretchers.’
    • ‘Later, upholstery covered the entire chair, except for the legs and stretchers.’
    1. 3.1 A board in a boat against which a rower presses the feet for support.
      • ‘This stretcher when incorporated with the camlock is able to suit any boat and is easy to adjust.’
      • ‘The foot stretcher is easily positioned to achieve these positions by loosening the 3 wing nuts and moving the foot stretcher along the adjustment plates.’
      • ‘A foot stretcher breakage in the Egyptian boat caused the second semi-final to be delayed.’
  • 4A brick or stone laid with its long side along the face of a wall.

    Compare with header
    • ‘To understand the following patterns, you'll want to know that stretchers are brick laid lengthwise along the wall.’
    • ‘Walls build using the traditional stretcher bond are just a half brick wide.’
    • ‘Water absorption testing of 18 stretcher bricks removed from the building revealed that all of the brick tested met the saturation coefficient requirement.’
    • ‘The bricks are laid in alternate pairs of headers and stretchers.’
    • ‘Below the sills of these bedrooms are stone stretchers that extend from one column base to the next.’
  • 5informal, archaic An exaggeration or lie.

    • ‘Mark Twain is quoted: "mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before."’
    • ‘One way of doing that is to refer to prior unsworn occasions when you may have told the ‘stretcher’ in question’


  • Carry (a sick or injured person) somewhere on a stretcher:

    ‘their striker had to be stretchered off following a tackle’
    • ‘After receiving treatment for 10 minutes, he was stretchered off the field to be replaced by Gamble.’
    • ‘He was stretchered off with knee - ligament damage and looks destined to be sidelined for months.’
    • ‘No one will truly believe he is injured today unless he is stretchered away with a limb hanging off.’
    • ‘The night was tinged with sadness for City by the sight of Cooper being stretchered from the field in the dying embers.’
    • ‘He was finally stretchered off by paramedics and taken to Leeds General Infirmary.’
    • ‘When he collapsed it, he was stretchered off with a neck injury that, thankfully, revealed no fractures.’
    • ‘One young woman was stretchered from the beach on a makeshift platform of planks and a rubber mat after tumbling from the rocks as she tried to escape a tear gas pellet.’
    • ‘He was stretchered off with a twisted knee during yesterday's game at Tannadice and is unlikely to play for Rangers again this season.’
    • ‘He was stretchered off and taken immediately to hospital.’
    • ‘He was stretchered off at Field Mill in obvious agony, but fears he could have suffered a break have been allayed.’
    • ‘The man was conscious as an ambulance crew stretchered him into an ambulance before taking him to York District Hospital.’
    • ‘He lay unmoving for three minutes before he was stretchered to the dressing room and, it seemed, to the hospital.’
    • ‘He was stretchered off and driven to hospital, where he remained for a fortnight and had the first major operation on his knee.’
    • ‘Twenty-two team members attended and stretchered the woman from the fell with a suspected leg-fracture.’
    • ‘However, he was stretchered off later after a challenge for a loose ball.’
    • ‘He was stretchered into an ambulance and taken to hospital where he will remain overnight.’
    • ‘But 20 minutes later he was again stretchered off with a suspected cartilage problem.’
    • ‘I was stretchered off and they said it was a classic case of an anterior cruciate ligament injury.’
    • ‘The following year, a surgeon told her her career was over after she was stretchered off the track at the world championships with a ruptured Achilles tendon.’
    • ‘Wearing an oxygen mask and giving the thumbs-up to the cameras, Murphy was stretchered out of the conference hall.’