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[dreyn] /dreɪn/
verb (used with object)
to withdraw or draw off (a liquid) gradually; remove slowly or by degrees, as by filtration:
to drain oil from a crankcase.
to withdraw liquid gradually from; make empty or dry by drawing off liquid:
to drain a crankcase.
to exhaust the resources of:
to drain the treasury.
to deprive of strength; tire.
verb (used without object)
to flow off gradually.
to become empty or dry by the gradual flowing off of liquid or moisture:
This land drains into the Mississippi.
something, as a pipe or conduit, by which a liquid drains.
Surgery. a material or appliance for maintaining the opening of a wound to permit free exit of fluids.
gradual or continuous outflow, withdrawal, or expenditure.
something that causes a large or continuous outflow, expenditure, or depletion:
Medical expenses were a major drain on his bank account.
an act of draining.
Physical Geography.
  1. an artificial watercourse, as a ditch or trench.
  2. a natural watercourse modified to increase its flow of water.
go down the drain,
  1. to become worthless or profitless.
  2. to go out of existence; disappear.
Origin of drain
before 1000; Middle English dreynen, Old English drēhnian, drēahnian to strain, filter; akin to dry
Related forms
drainable, adjective
drainer, noun
overdrain, verb
undrainable, adjective
undrained, adjective
well-drained, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for undrained
Historical Examples
  • These wooden huts were undrained, dark and dirty to a remarkable degree.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • It will not then be surprising that undrained soils are, in the language of the farmer, "cold."

    Farm drainage Henry Flagg French
  • He found the city in 1787 in a wretched condition, unlighted, undrained, unpaved.


    Susan Hale
  • Most of this country was undrained, and snipe were in thousands.

  • See that those in undrained bowls are just moist, but not wet.

    The Children's Book of Gardening Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick
  • Decoys were once numerous in the undrained state of the Fens.

  • undrained trenches caused some increase of mortality and of sickness.

  • Not very much grass in it; it is wet, low-lying, undrained land.

    Two Years in Oregon

    Wallis Nash
  • They were now upon plough,—undrained plough, too, which the recent rains bad rendered sticky and holding.

    Ask Momma R. S. Surtees
  • For all his optimism, for all his young, undrained strength, a doubt began to grow in the mind of Pierre le Rouge.

    Riders of the Silences

    John Frederick
British Dictionary definitions for undrained


a pipe or channel that carries off water, sewage, etc
an instance or cause of continuous diminution in resources or energy; depletion
(surgery) a device, such as a tube, for insertion into a wound, incision, or bodily cavity to drain off pus, etc
(electronics) the electrode region in a field-effect transistor into which majority carriers flow from the interelectrode conductivity channel
down the drain, wasted
(transitive) often foll by off. to draw off or remove (liquid) from: to drain water from vegetables, to drain vegetables
(intransitive) often foll by away. to flow (away) or filter (off)
(intransitive) to dry or be emptied as a result of liquid running off or flowing away: leave the dishes to drain
(transitive) to drink the entire contents of (a glass, cup, etc)
(transitive) to consume or make constant demands on (resources, energy, etc); exhaust; sap
(intransitive) to disappear or leave, esp gradually: the colour drained from his face
(transitive) (of a river, etc) to carry off the surface water from (an area)
(intransitive) (of an area) to discharge its surface water into rivers, streams, etc
Derived Forms
drainable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English drēahnian; related to Old Norse drangr dry wood; see dry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for undrained



Old English dreahnian "to drain, strain out," from Proto-Germanic *dreug-, source of drought, dry, giving the English word originally a sense of "make dry." Figurative meaning of "exhaust" is attested from 1650s. The word is not found in surviving texts between late Old English and the 1500s. Related: Drained; draining.



1550s, from drain (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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undrained in Medicine

drain (drān)
A device, such as a tube, inserted into the opening of a wound or into a body or dental cavity to facilitate discharge of fluid or purulent material. v. drained, drain·ing, drains
To draw off a liquid gradually as it forms.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for undrained
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with undrained
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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