Definition of overstretch in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Stretch too much.

    ‘the aches and pains of overstretched muscles’
    • ‘He moved the ball from one foot to the other, but overstretched himself and ended up merely poking a tame shot towards goal that the goalkeeper easily picked up.’
    • ‘In a minor sprain, where the ligaments are merely overstretched, there may be local pain and minor swelling, but no difficulty in moving the joint.’
    • ‘Acute, or sudden, injuries can be the product of either a blunt trauma or overstretching a muscle, joint or tendon.’
    • ‘Be sure to maintain the stretched position for at least 20 seconds, and do not overstretch the muscles.’
    overtax, push to the limit, pressurize, pressure, burden, make tense, cause to feel emotional strain, cause to feel mental strain
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  • 2Make excessive demands on.

    ‘classes are very large and facilities are overstretched’
    • ‘‘All these jobs are valuable to us but our volunteers are overstretched and as it is more important that our telephone lines are kept open these jobs sometimes get lost,’ said Mrs Smith.’
    • ‘The scale of the looming disaster also places a massive burden on already overstretched relief agencies reeling from famines in southern Africa and chaos in Afghanistan.’
    • ‘The service has been overstretched, placing undue pressure on members and this, coupled with the inequality of pay, has forced them to take action.’
    • ‘Unions said they are extremely worried that the ‘drastic cuts’ would affect health service, and warned it would put already overstretched staff under more strain.’
    • ‘Government plans which could result in the children of failed asylum seekers being placed in council care could lead to more problems for Southend's already overstretched social services, it was claimed today.’
    • ‘The Royal College of Nursing Scotland survey of more than 4,000 of its members, however, revealed that nurses believe they are overstretched to a dangerous level.’
    • ‘Cats from their own county already overstretch both these facilities.’
    • ‘We are already overstretched and all these people moving in are just going to make the problem worse.’
    • ‘When they said they wanted to keep me on, it was a half-truth: we have projects that are underperforming, staff that are overstretched and losing someone who's bringing in money wouldn't be a good thing right now.’
    • ‘Senior Liberal Democrats feel the new intake should not be overstretched or exposed to too much pressure while they bed in, so the MPs are unlikely to take frontline roles.’
    • ‘Pain clinics are overstretched, waiting lists ridiculously long, and many consultants who run them read the BMJ.’
    • ‘An unnamed worker said this week resources were overstretched, countywide ambulance cover was critically low and workers were becoming demoralised by a relentless stream of government statistics.’
    • ‘Russell added that he feared the opera might have overstretched itself financially by committing to a complete production of Wagner's four-part Ring Cycle.’
    • ‘I know the police are overstretched but I don't think they leave the investigation of attempted murders to cack-handed private investigators.’
    • ‘The clash of the two events, which will both cause major security headaches for the already overstretched Lothian and Borders Police, has led to calls for the force to be given more cash to help with the pressures of policing the capital.’
    • ‘The latest Walkabout club is yet another burden on the already overstretched emergency and public services.’
    • ‘Facilities that were already underfunded and overstretched are now at breaking point.’
    • ‘It is madness to cut the infantry at a time when they are already overstretched.’
    • ‘We have a prosecution service in which that is not happening as often as it should because it is overstretched.’
    • ‘The dilapidated facilities and overstretched editorial staff prove how illusory this prediction was.’