1. a sensation of discomfort produced in the eyes by their excessive or improper use: to have eyestrain from reading fine print in poor light.

Origin of eyestrain

First recorded in 1870–75; eye + strain1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for eyestrain

Historical Examples of eyestrain

  • Then eyestrain and headache and a touch of fever followed, and I cast about for means to ameliorate my bodily ills.

    Jungle Peace

    William Beebe

  • He, therefore, constantly tries to improve it by changing the tension of his ciliary muscles, and so brings on eyestrain.


    Ernest G. Martin

  • In spite of almost constant illness brought about by eyestrain, he accomplished more than most well men have done.

    A Civic Biology

    George William Hunter

British Dictionary definitions for eyestrain


  1. fatigue or irritation of the eyes, resulting from excessive use, as from prolonged reading of small print, or uncorrected defects of vision
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

eyestrain in Medicine


  1. Pain and fatigue of the eyes, often accompanied by headache, due to prolonged use of the eyes, uncorrected defects of vision, or imbalance of the eye muscles.asthenopia
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.