We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the "Home Stretch"?

By J.E. Holloway
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

"Home stretch" is an idiomatic English expression referring to the last part of a journey or process. It is must usually part of the phrase "in the home stretch," meaning that a project is nearing completion. The expression originates from horse racing, but its usage has spread widely, to the point that the analogy is now much more common than the original term.

In horse racing, the straight areas between the turns of a race track are known as "stretches" or "straightaways." Racing announcer David Johnson is known for his trademark exclamation, "and down the stretch they come!" During a race, horses may run around the track several times. When they pass the last turn and head down the track toward the finish line, they are said to be on the "final stretch" or "home stretch." The term thus refers not to part of the race track, but to part of the track at a certain point in the race.

The use of home to refer to the goal or finish line in a race dates to the 18th century, and can be seen in sporting terms such as "home plate" in baseball. "Stretch" as a description of an area seems to date to the 17th century, although the term in horse racing does not appear until the mid-19th century, roughly contemporary with "home plate." The term seems to have left horse racing early in its history; it is also found in baseball, sometimes being used to describe the line between third base and home plate, as well as in backgammon.

The expression "on the home stretch" is a simple analogy. Just as a horse which is on the home stretch is nearly at the finish line, a person or activity "on the home stretch" is nearing completion. The expression is often used to encourage others to persist in the face of obstacles, with the implication that after the finish line is reached, all will be well.

The expression is used widely outside the world of horse racing, and has permeated popular culture. The expression has been used as the title of several songs, television programs and books. A series of workshops related to home buying uses the name "The Home Stretch," as does a set of exercises. Despite the fact that the term has no connection to "stretching" in the sense of exercise, other than early linguistic roots, the phrase is recognizable enough for marketers to use it in this sense.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By summing — On May 25, 2012

I am a big fan of horse racing and it is amazing how much a race can change when it enters the home stretch. The leader can fall to the back of the back or the last hose, the one you completely counted out, can make a surge and win by a nose.

It is almost like the hose knows that the home stretch is their last chance. I have heard it said that the best race horses have an actually competitive spirit and I have to think that this kicks in when they near the end of a race.

By Ivan83 — On May 25, 2012

I am so excited, I am entering the home stretch on my PhD thesis. I have been working on it for the last three years but it is finally all written and now all I have left is to defend it. That gives me plenty to be nervous about, but I know that the hard part is out of the way with.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.