- 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.
- 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.
- an artificial watercourse, as a ditch or trench.
- a natural watercourse modified to increase its flow of water.
- go down the drain,
- to become worthless or profitless.
- to go out of existence; disappear.
Origin of drain
Examples from the Web for drain
Drain immediately and immerse the beans in ice water to stop the cooking.The Barefoot Contessa’s Tasty Trip to Paris
November 27, 2014
The drain clogs in the shower every few days, and the clump of tangled brown hair is springy between my fingers.Birth Control Made My Hair Fall Out, and I’m Not the Only One
October 14, 2014
The assumption is that President Obama is a drain on Democrats desperate to survive his unpopular numbers in key states.What the GOP Will Do If It Wins Congress
October 3, 2014
At the very least, this indictment will be an enormous distraction and drain on Perry's time, money and attention.Peak 'Oops': Explaining the Perry Indictment
August 17, 2014
Ancient bowls feature so-called “kill holes,” possibly to drain blood or allow a spirit to escape.The Cave Where Mayans Sacrificed Humans Is Open for Visitors
August 14, 2014
When they are tender, remove them from the fire and drain off the water.
When tender, drain them, remove the skins, and dice the beets.
Remove from the fat, drain, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
When it is done, take it out, lay it on its claws to drain, and then wipe it dry.
Put the oysters into a sieve, and set it on a pan to drain the liquor from them.
- 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
- (tr often foll by off) to draw off or remove (liquid) fromto drain water from vegetables; to drain vegetables
- (intr often foll by away) to flow (away) or filter (off)
- (intr) to dry or be emptied as a result of liquid running off or flowing awayleave the dishes to drain
- (tr) to drink the entire contents of (a glass, cup, etc)
- (tr) to consume or make constant demands on (resources, energy, etc); exhaust; sap
- (intr) to disappear or leave, esp graduallythe colour drained from his face
- (tr) (of a river, etc) to carry off the surface water from (an area)
- (intr) (of an area) to discharge its surface water into rivers, streams, etc
Word Origin and History for drain
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.).
- 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.
- To draw off a liquid gradually as it forms.
Idioms and Phrases with drain
see brain drain; down the drain.