drain

verb
\ ˈdrān How to pronounce drain (audio) \
drained; draining; drains

Definition of drain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : filter
2a : to draw off (liquid) gradually or completely drained all the water out of the pool
b : to cause the gradual disappearance of drain the region's wealth
c : to exhaust (see exhaust entry 1 sense 1b) physically or emotionally feeling drained at the end of a long workday
3a : to make gradually dry drain a swamp
b : to carry away the surface water of the river that drains the valley
c : to deplete or empty by or as if by drawing off by degrees or in increments drained the country of its resources
d : to empty by drinking the contents of drain a mug of beer
4 sports : drop sense 7c, sink drain the putt drained two free throws

intransitive verb

1a : to flow off gradually
b : to disappear gradually : dwindle his nervousness drained away, as it always did— H. A. Sinclair
2 : to become emptied or freed of liquid by its flowing or dropping waiting for the tub to drain
3 : to discharge surface or surplus water drains into the Gulf of Mexico

drain

noun

Definition of drain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a means (such as a pipe) by which usually liquid matter is drained
2a : the act of draining
b : a gradual outflow or withdrawal : depletion a net drain from the East of five million souls— G. W. Pierson
3 : something that causes depletion : burden a drain on the city's resources
4 electronics : an electrode in a field-effect transistor toward which charge carriers move — compare gate, source
down the drain
: to a state of being wasted or irretrievably lost All their hard work went down the drain.

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Other Words from drain

Verb

drainer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for drain

Synonyms: Verb

bleed, draft, draw (off), pump, siphon (also syphon), tap

Antonyms: Verb

fill

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Choose the Right Synonym for drain

Verb

deplete, drain, exhaust, impoverish, bankrupt mean to deprive of something essential to existence or potency. deplete implies a reduction in number or quantity so as to endanger the ability to function. depleting our natural resources drain implies a gradual withdrawal and ultimate deprivation of what is necessary to an existence. personal tragedy had drained him of all spirit exhaust stresses a complete emptying. her lecture exhausted the subject impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness. impoverished soil bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse. war had bankrupted the nation of resources

Examples of drain in a Sentence

Verb

Drain the canned tomatoes before adding them to the pot. The swamp has been drained. I was waiting for the bathtub to drain. The river drains into a lake. Years of civil war have drained the country's resources. The city's emergency fund has been drained. I feel totally drained of energy this evening.

Noun

The drain in the bathtub is blocked.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But paycheck talk aside, doing something for as long as Ellen has done her show can be draining. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Truth About Ellen DeGeneres Leaving Her Talk Show," 15 Jan. 2019 From the user's perspective, these apps drain their phone's battery and may cause data overages as the apps are constantly running and communicating with servers in the background. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "22 apps with 2 million+ Google Play downloads had a malicious backdoor," 6 Dec. 2018 This business has felt like a continuation of an abusive relationship—draining. Amber Rae, SELF, "Ask Amber Rae: How Do I Stop Feeling Like a Failure?," 5 Nov. 2018 Now, thankfully, Target made it even easier to fill an entire cart without draining your bank account, with a new in-house brand called Smartly, which features 70 personal-care items, most of which are under $2. Leah Prinzivalli, Teen Vogue, "Target Announced a Personal-Care Line Called Smartly," 8 Oct. 2018 The jubilation that erupted after the boys were found drained away. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Tillman, a sophomore, drained one from beyond the NBA arc while unguarded, and rattled in another that hit the front rim and dropped through the net with a shooter’s touch. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Can Michigan State's Xavier Tillman, Nick Ward stay on floor together?," 12 July 2018 The physical effort involved in the project left me drained. Daniel J. Green /, NBC News, "I hit my fitness goal, then fell off track. Now what?," 25 May 2018 Discussing trauma with someone who doesn’t understand can be draining. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How to Be There for Someone Who Survived a Horrible Trauma," 1 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Outside estimates of the cash-flow drain range from $640 million to $1.8 billion a month, but Boeing will get that money eventually unless airlines cancel orders. Bernard Condon, The Seattle Times, "Financial pressure mounts to fix Boeing’s troubled jetliner," 1 Apr. 2019 Copper drain lines can also be damaged by the use of bleach and water. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The DIY Guide To Fixing Your Leaky Air Conditioner," 15 Mar. 2019 Lawsuits have not been a major drain on government budgets since Hall was decided, and states can better bear the legal bills than small businesses can. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A California-Nevada Tax Brawl," 8 Jan. 2019 The tickets a Houston cop kept writing Mohammed S. Mohamed, 47, were a financial drain on Mohamed’s shipping and logistics business on the east side of Houston. Jared Gilmour, star-telegram, "Man kept getting tickets. He hired a hitman to kill the cop writing them, Houston police say," 26 June 2018 Intel rightly points out that the display is the biggest battery drain on any mobile device, so figuring out ways to improve its power efficiency is always a welcome change. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Intel’s Low Power Display Technology is a welcome innovation in power efficiency," 5 June 2018 The Power & Light District is a drain on the city, financially. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Jorts, why should you go to the ballpark, and when can we start gambling? | The Kansas City Star," 15 May 2018 McClorey said the empty space has been a drain on his and other businesses in the area that lost foot traffic after the Pogue's garage was demolished to make way for new development. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "Get ball rolling at Fourth and Race streets or else, businesses tell Cincinnati leaders," 8 May 2018 But making more work friends doesn't have to be a drain on your productivity. Katina Beniaris, Country Living, "Why It's So Important to Have Friends at Work," 8 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of drain

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for drain

Verb and Noun

Middle English draynen, from Old English drēahnian — more at dry

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Statistics for drain

Last Updated

21 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drain

The first known use of drain was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for drain

drain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of drain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to remove (liquid) from something by letting it flow away or out
of a container : to become empty of a liquid
of a liquid : to flow into, away from, or out of something

drain

noun

English Language Learners Definition of drain (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a pipe) that is used for removing a liquid from a place or container
: something that uses a lot of time, money, etc.

drain

verb
\ ˈdrān How to pronounce drain (audio) \
drained; draining

Kids Definition of drain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to remove (liquid) from something by letting it flow away or out We need to drain water from the pool.
2 : to slowly make or become dry or empty drain a swamp
3 : to flow into, away from, or out of something The water slowly drained.
4 : to slowly disappear All the joy of the music drained out of him.— Mary Pope Osborne, Christmas in Camelot
5 : to tire out She was drained by the busy weekend.

drain

noun

Kids Definition of drain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something used to remove a liquid the tub's drain
2 : something that slowly empties of or uses up The long trip was a drain on Grandma's strength.
\ ˈdrān How to pronounce drain (audio) \

Medical Definition of drain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : to draw off (liquid) gradually or completely drain pus from an abscess
b : to exhaust physically or emotionally
2 : to carry away or give passage to a bodily fluid or a discharge from drain an abscess the eustachian tube drains the middle ear— H. G. Armstrong

intransitive verb

: to flow off gradually blood draining from a wound

drain

noun

Medical Definition of drain (Entry 2 of 2)

: a tube or cylinder usually of absorbent material for drainage of a wound — see cigarette drain

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More from Merriam-Webster on drain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drain

Spanish Central: Translation of drain

Nglish: Translation of drain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drain

Comments on drain

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