to stretch the rules

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - stretch the rules

"to stretch the rules"

to allow something to be done that is not usually allowed;

to alter the rules slightly;

to interpret loosely


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - stretch the rules

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: It's Friday afternoon at four o'clock. All our work is finished and it is very quiet. Let's leave early.

Colleague 2: But that is against the rules.

Colleague 1: So, we stretch the rules a little. Nobody will care. Besides, it is only an hour early.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - stretch the rules

Two students are talking ...

Student 1: With attending my grandmother's funeral and then having the flu for a week, I am just not going to have my term paper finished on time.

Student 2: Talk to the professor. She will stretch the rules sometimes under extenuating circumstances.

Student 1: You think she will grant an extension?

Student 2: You can always ask. Professors do have the power to alter the deadlines.

Test Your Understanding  

to stretch the rules - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   30   click for frequency by country

to stretch the rules - Gerund Form:

Stretching the rules to suit one's needs is morally controversial.

to stretch the rules - Examples:

1)  ... probably did just what many rival casino execs might also do: bent the rules when an especially large "whale" needed a little favor. 

2)  As a parent you might be inclined to stretch the rules a bit. Unfortunately your surrogate parent - the school - will not ...

3)  ... to be flexible in resolving complaints. Give employees some leeway in deciding when to stretch the rules.

4)  ... becomes frustrated when she finds herself shut out from her own case. She considers stretching the rules in the name of justice, risking her career in the process.

5)  Pennsylvania apparently showed some "flexibility" in Applewhite's case, stretching the rules to accommodate her circumstances.

6)  ... seems to make you want even more, and that increased want leads you to stretch the rules or break the rules to serve your self-interest.

7)  But the real problems occur when people deliberately stretch the rules and when they over-hype findings.

8)  Knowing how to make mechanical and electrical things work for you, knowing how to stretch the rules of those (and other systems) to get what you need, ...

9)  ... lighthearted book shamelessly describes how to cut the corners and stretch the rules that never mattered much anyway.

10)  That said, the SEC isn't going to tell its officiating crews to stretch the rules for one team over another.

11)  He's a man known for moneymaking schemes and cheating by stretching the rules.

12)  If your child acts up, don't stretch the rules, but understand what feelings may be motivating that behavior.

13)  And maybe it's right and I should feel pain for stretching the rules But I'm not the one who's trying to ...

14)  ... bowls me over that those teachers had such faith in me that they chose to stretch the rules

15)  ... has developed his own individualized way of living day to day, stretching the rules, avoiding punishment, and making life a little more bearable under the ...

16)  But I guess when you feel the competition over-shadowing you, you stretch the rules for your benefit.

17)  ... the way we'll make $5.4 billion like Peterffy did, is by stretching the rules and building systems that give us a leg up on the competition, ...

18)  ... misrepresented her ancestry to get her job why should we be surprised to find she bent the rules here?

19)  ... but I'm asking for a bit of literary license here to stretch the rules of rhetoric in favor of the experiential world.

20)  In a world where people continually seek shortcuts, look for gray areas, stretch the rules, or manipulate the truth, this kind of integrity is refreshing.