[ streyn ]
/ streɪn /
verb (used with object)
to draw tight or taut, especially to the utmost tension; stretch to the full: to strain a rope.
to exert to the utmost: to strain one's ears to catch a sound.
to impair, injure, or weaken (a muscle, tendon, etc.) by stretching or overexertion.
to cause mechanical deformation in (a body or structure) as the result of stress.
to stretch beyond the proper point or limit: to strain the meaning of a word.
to make excessive demands upon: to strain one's luck; to strain one's resources.
to pour (liquid containing solid matter) through a filter, sieve, or the like in order to hold back the denser solid constituents: to strain gravy.
to draw off (clear or pure liquid) by means of a filter or sieve: to strain the water from spinach; to strain broth.
to hold back (solid particles) from liquid matter by means of a filter or sieve: to strain seeds from orange juice; to strain rice.
to clasp tightly in the arms, the hand, etc.: The mother strained her child close to her breast.
Obsolete. to constrain, as to a course of action.
verb (used without object)
to pull forcibly: a dog straining at a leash.
to stretch one's muscles, nerves, etc., to the utmost.
to make violent physical efforts; strive hard.
to resist forcefully; balk: to strain at accepting an unpleasant fact.
to be subjected to tension or stress; suffer strain.
to filter, percolate, or ooze.
to trickle or flow: Sap strained from the bark.
any force or pressure tending to alter shape, cause a fracture, etc.
strong muscular or physical effort.
great or excessive effort or striving after some goal, object, or effect.
an injury to a muscle, tendon, etc., due to excessive tension or use; sprain.
Mechanics, Physics. deformation of a body or structure as a result of an applied force.
condition of being strained or stretched.
a task, goal, or effect accomplished only with great effort: Housecleaning is a real strain.
severe, trying, or fatiguing pressure or exertion; taxing onus: the strain of hard work.
a severe demand on or test of resources, feelings, a person, etc.: a strain on one's hospitality.
a flow or burst of language, eloquence, etc.: the lofty strain of Cicero.
Often strains. a passage of melody, music, or songs as rendered or heard: the strains of the nightingale.
Music. a section of a piece of music, more or less complete in itself.
a passage or piece of poetry.
the tone, style, or spirit of an utterance, writing, etc.: a humorous strain.
a particular degree, height, or pitch attained: a strain of courageous enthusiasm.
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Origin of strain1
1250–1300; Middle English streinen (v.) < Old French estrein-, stem of estreindre to press tightly, grip < Latin stringere to bind, tie, draw tight. See stringent
SYNONYMS FOR strain
3 Strain, sprain imply a wrenching, twisting, and stretching of muscles and tendons. To strain is to stretch tightly, make taut, wrench, tear, cause injury to, by long-continued or sudden and too violent effort or movement: to strain one's heart by overexertion, one's eyes by reading small print. To sprain is to strain excessively (but without dislocation) by a sudden twist or wrench, the tendons and muscles connected with a joint, especially those of the ankle or wrist: to sprain an ankle.
7 filter, sieve.
10 hug, embrace, press.
OTHER WORDS FROM strainstrain·ing·ly, adverbstrain·less, adjectivestrain·less·ly, adverb
Words nearby strain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for strainless (1 of 2)
/ (streɪn) /
to draw or be drawn taut; stretch tight
to exert, tax, or use (resources) to the utmost extent
to injure or damage or be injured or damaged by overexertionhe strained himself
to deform or be deformed as a result of a stress
(intr) to make intense or violent efforts; strive
to subject or be subjected to mental tension or stress
to pour or pass (a substance) or (of a substance) to be poured or passed through a sieve, filter, or strainer
(tr) to draw off or remove (one part of a substance or mixture from another) by or as if by filtering
(tr) to clasp tightly; hug
(tr) obsolete to force or constrain
(intr foll by at)
- to push, pull, or work with violent exertion (upon)
- to strive (for)
- to balk or scruple (from)
the act or an instance of straining
the damage resulting from excessive exertion
an intense physical or mental effort
music (often plural) a theme, melody, or tune
a great demand on the emotions, resources, etc
a feeling of tension and tiredness resulting from overwork, worry, etc; stress
a particular style or recurring theme in speech or writing
physics the change in dimension of a body under load expressed as the ratio of the total deflection or change in dimension to the original unloaded dimension. It may be a ratio of lengths, areas, or volumes
Word Origin for strain
C13: from Old French estreindre to press together, from Latin stringere to bind tightly
British Dictionary definitions for strainless (2 of 2)
/ (streɪn) /
the main body of descendants from one ancestor
a group of organisms within a species or variety, distinguished by one or more minor characteristics
a variety of bacterium or fungus, esp one used for a culture
a streak; trace
archaic a kind, type, or sort
Word Origin for strain
Old English strēon; related to Old High German gistriuni gain, Latin struere to construct
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
Scientific definitions for strainless
[ strān ]
A group of organisms of the same species, sharing certain hereditary characteristics not typical of the entire species but minor enough not to warrant classification as a separate breed or variety. Resistance to specific antibiotics is a feature of certain strains of bacteria.
The extent to which a body is distorted when it is subjected to a deforming force, as when under stress. The distortion can involve a change both in shape and in size. All measures of strain are dimensionless (they have no unit of measure).♦ Axial strain is equal to the ratio between the change in length of an object and its original length.♦ Volume strain is equal to the ratio between the change in volume of an object and its original volume. It is also called bulk strain.♦ Shear strain is equal to the ratio between the amount by which an object is skewed and its length. Compare stress. See more at Hooke's law.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.