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at a stretch

Also, at one stretch . At one time, during one period. For example, Working quickly, she hoped to finish all the drawings at a stretch . In contrast to the nearly synonymous at a sitting , this idiom, first recorded in 1774, does not imply being seated while engaging in a single continuous activity. Rather, it transfers the meaning of stretch as “a continuous length” to “a continuous time period.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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