- The definition of a strain is a bodily injury due to overexertion or an excessive demand on resources.
- An example of strain is a pulled muscle.
- An example of strain is reading a book in the dark, causing pressure on the eyes.
- Strain is defined as to exert or stretch to the maximum or to injure by too much exertion.
- An example of strain is for a spectator to stretch over his seat to see a concert.
- An example of strain is for a football player to pull a muscle from playing too roughly.
- to draw or stretch tight
- to exert, use, or tax to the utmost: to strain every nerve
- to overtax; injure by overexertion; wrench: to strain a muscle
- to injure or weaken by force, pressure, etc.: the wind strained the roof
- to stretch or force beyond the normal, customary, or legitimate limits: to strain a rule to one's own advantage
- to change the form or size of, by applying external force
- to pass through a screen, sieve, filter, etc.; filter
- to remove or free by filtration, etc.
- to hug or embrace: now only in strain to one's bosom (or heart, etc.)
- Obs. to force; constrain
Origin of strainMiddle English streinen ; from Old French estraindre, to strain, wring hard ; from Classical Latin stringere, to draw tight: see strict
- to make violent or continual efforts; strive hard
- to be or become strained
- to be subjected to great stress or pressure
- to pull or push with force
- to filter, ooze, or trickle
Origin of strainfrom a misunderstanding of “strain at a gnat” (Matt. 23:24) to hesitate or be unwilling; balk (at)
- a straining or being strained
- great effort, exertion, or tension
- an injury to a part of the body as a result of great effort or overexertion: muscle strain
- change in form or size, or both, resulting from stress or force
- stress or force
- a great or excessive demand on one's emotions, resources, etc.: a strain on the imagination
- a begetting
- ancestry; lineage; descent
- the descendants of a common ancestor; race; stock; line; breed; variety
- an inherited or natural characteristic or tendency
- a trace; streak
- the manner, style, or tone of a speech, book, action, etc.: to write in an angry strain
- a passage of music; tune; air
- a passage of poetry, esp. of a lyric sort
- a flight or outburst of eloquence, profanity, etc.
- a line of individuals of a certain species or race, differentiated from the main group by certain qualities, often, specif., superior qualities resulting from artificial breeding
Origin of strainMiddle English stren ; from Old English streon, gain, procreation, stock, race ; from base strynan, streonan, to produce: for Indo-European base see strew
verbstrained, strain·ing, strains
- a. To pull, draw, or stretch tight: The heavy load strained the rope.b. Physics To cause distortion of (a body's parts or shape) by applying an external force; deform.
- To exert, use, or tax to the utmost: straining our ears to hear.
- To injure or impair by overuse or overexertion; wrench: strain a muscle.
- To damage or weaken by pressure or tension: winds that strained the mast.
- To force beyond the proper or reasonable limit: an excuse that strains credulity.
- a. To pass (a liquid) through a filtering agent such as a strainer.b. To draw off or remove by filtration: strained the pulp from the juice.
- Archaic To embrace or clasp tightly; hug.
- a. To make strong or steady efforts; strive hard: straining to complete the coursework.b. To contract or exert one's muscles to the utmost.
- To pull or push forcibly or violently: The dog strained at its leash.
- To be or become wrenched or twisted: the flagpole straining in the wind.
- To be subjected to great stress: With such busy lives, the marriage can strain.
- To pass through a filtering agent: The muddy water strains slowly.
- a. The act of straining.b. The state of being strained: the strain on the cable.
- a. Extreme or laborious effort, exertion, or work: moved the sofa with little strain.b. A great or excessive demand or stress on one's body, mind, or resources: the strain of managing both a family and a career.c. The state of being subjected to such demands or stresses: trying to work under great strain.
- A wrench, twist, or other physical injury resulting from excessive tension, effort, or use.
- Physics Any of several kinds of deformation of the dimensions of a body when subjected to stress, as axial strain or elastic strain.
- An exceptional degree or pitch: a strain of zealous idealism.
Origin of strainMiddle English streinen, from Old French estreindre, estrein-, to bind tightly, from Latin stringere; see streig- in Indo-European roots.
- Biology a. A group of bacteria or viruses that are genetically distinct from other groups of the same species.b. A group of cultivated plants or domestic animals of the same species that have distinctive characteristics but are not considered a separate breed or variety.
- a. The collective descendants of a common ancestor; a race, stock, line, or breed.b. Any of the various lines of ancestry united in an individual or a family; ancestry or lineage.
- A kind or sort: imaginings of a morbid strain.
- a. An inborn or inherited tendency or character: a strain of eccentricity in the family.b. An inherent quality; a streak: “his upper-caste father, placid, inactive, with a strain of asceticism” (V.S. Naipaul).
- The tone, tenor, or substance of a verbal utterance or of a particular action or behavior: spoke in a passionate strain.
- often strains Music A passage of expression; a tune or an air: melodic strains of the violin.
- a. A passage of poetic and especially lyrical expression.b. An outburst or a flow of eloquent or impassioned language.
Origin of strainMiddle English strene, from Old English strēon, something gained, progeny; see ster-2 in Indo-European roots.
- (archaic) Race; lineage, pedigree.
- Hereditary character, quality, or disposition.
- There is a strain of madness in her family.
- A tendency or disposition.
- (literary) Any sustained note or movement; a song; a distinct portion of an ode or other poem; also, the pervading note, or burden, of a song, poem, oration, book, etc.; theme; motive; manner; style
- (biology) A particular breed or race of animal, microbe etc.
- They say this year's flu virus is a particularly virulent strain.
- (music) A portion of music divided off by a double bar; a complete musical period or sentence; a movement, or any rounded subdivision of a movement.
- (rare) A kind or sort (of person etc.).
(third-person singular simple present strains, present participle straining, simple past and past participle strained)
- Evander with a close embrace / Strained his departing friend.
- To apply a force or forces to by stretching out.
- to strain a rope; to strain the shrouds of a ship
- Relations between the United States and Guatemala traditionally have been close, although at times strained by human rights and civil/military issues.
- To damage by drawing, stretching, or the exertion of force.
- The gale strained the timbers of the ship.
- To act upon, in any way, so as to cause change of form or volume, as when bending a beam.
- To exert or struggle (to do something), especially to stretch (one's senses, faculties etc.) beyond what is normal or comfortable.
- Sitting in back, I strained to hear the speaker.
- To stretch beyond its proper limit; to do violence to, in terms of intent or meaning.
- to strain the law in order to convict an accused person
- To tighten (the strings of a musical instrument); to uplift (one's voice).
- To separate solid from liquid by passing through a strainer or colander
- (intransitive) To percolate; to be filtered.
- water straining through a sandy soil
- To make uneasy or unnatural; to produce with apparent effort; to force; to constrain.
- To urge with importunity; to press.
- to strain a petition or invitation
(countable and uncountable, plural strains)
- The act of straining, or the state of being strained.
- A violent effort; an excessive and hurtful exertion or tension, as of the muscles.
- he jumped up with a strain; the strain upon the sailboat's rigging
- An injury resulting from violent effort; a sprain.
- (uncountable, engineering) A dimensionless measure of object deformation either referring to engineering strain or true strain.
Old French estreindre (whence French Ã©treindre (“to grip")), from Latin stringere (“to draw tight together, to tie").