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sprain

[spreyn]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to overstrain or wrench (the ligaments of an ankle, wrist, or other joint) so as to injure without fracture or dislocation.
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noun
  1. a violent straining or wrenching of the parts around a joint, without dislocation.
  2. the condition of being sprained.
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Origin of sprain

First recorded in 1595–1605; origin uncertain
Related formsun·sprained, adjective

Synonyms

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1. twist. See strain1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

straintwistturnwrenchtearpull

Examples from the Web for sprain

Historical Examples

  • I cried, as I pressed her to my breast, "it is nothing; only a sprain."

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • The injury to Justin's hand proved to be one of strain and sprain.

    Glory of Youth

    Temple Bailey

  • If I trained for a race, I was sure to sprain my ankle on the day when I was to run.

    The Upper Berth

    Francis Marion Crawford

  • They watched him with some curiosity as he treated the sprain and studied the pulse.

  • It couldn't even have been a sprain, judging by the way he was standing there.

    Ten From Infinity

    Paul W. Fairman


British Dictionary definitions for sprain

sprain

verb
  1. (tr) to injure (a joint) by a sudden twisting or wrenching of its ligaments
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noun
  1. the resulting injury to such a joint, characterized by swelling and temporary disability
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Word Origin

C17: of uncertain origin
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

Word Origin and History for sprain

n.

c.1600, of uncertain origin. The verb is attested from 1620s. A connection has been suggested to Middle French espraindre "to press out," from Latin exprimere, but the sense evolution is difficult.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sprain in Medicine

sprain

(sprān)
n.
  1. An injury to a ligament when the joint is carried through a range of motion greater than its normal range without dislocation or fracture.
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v.
  1. To cause a sprain to a joint or ligament.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.