drain

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

Definition of drain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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
3 sports : drop sense 7c, sink drain the putt drained two free throws
4 obsolete : filter

intransitive verb

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

drain

noun

Definition of drain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a means (such as a pipe) by which usually liquid matter is drained
2 : something that causes depletion : burden a drain on the city's resources
3a : the act of draining
b : a gradual outflow or withdrawal : depletion a net drain from the East of five million souls— G. W. Pierson
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.

Other Words from drain

Verb

drainer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for drain

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The blood clots form in unusual places, such as veins that drain blood from the brain. Celina Tebor, USA TODAY, 6 May 2022 Clots form in unusual places, such as veins that drain blood from the brain, and in patients who also develop abnormally low levels of the platelets that form clots. Matthew Perrone, Lauran Neergaard, Anchorage Daily News, 6 May 2022 At issue is a weird kind of blood clot that forms in unusual places, such as veins that drain blood from the brain, and in patients who also develop abnormally low levels of the platelets that form clots. chicagotribune.com, 16 Dec. 2021 The blood clots linked to the J&J vaccine are occurring in unusual parts of the body, such as veins that drain blood from the brain. Fox News, 20 Apr. 2021 After all, blood clots in the veins that help drain blood from the brain are not things to be taken lightly. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 The Pentagon has since agreed to comply with a state order to drain the tanks and permanently shut them down. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 31 May 2022 The group’s members used people’s bank account information to drain people’s accounts, or open new ones in their names. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 31 May 2022 As the Fed and other central banks drain liquidity, problems might reveal themselves. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 29 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And if there’s anything left over, use it to water the plants rather than pouring it down the drain. Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2022 East County officials fear a $950 million sewage recycling project could get flushed down the drain because of a pipeline deal gone awry. Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2022 That’s half of the precious time, effort and money spent in crafting job advertisements, reviewing resumes, conducting interviews and training new employees gone down the drain. Kiran Mann, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Swatting calls are a drain on resources and dangerous to both police and the public, Lampson said. Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant, 10 May 2022 The last item, industrial paint jobs, are the main drain on water supplies in an auto plant. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 23 Feb. 2022 Harrison has argued that unruly crowds outside the clubs, especially around the current last call of 2 a.m., is a major drain on police manpower. Bryn Stole, baltimoresun.com, 18 Feb. 2022 Until this point, Beijing had relied completely on artificial snow to cover its slopes and venues — which environmentalists and critics say is a huge drain on energy and water resources. Helen Regan, CNN, 14 Feb. 2022 But again, local and state leaders — saying crime on the one-block strip is a drain on the city’s beleaguered police force — have fixed their eyes on the Block. Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of drain

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4

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

Learn More About drain

Time Traveler for drain

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near drain

drail

drain

drainage

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for drain

Last Updated

16 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Drain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drain. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for drain

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.

drain

transitive verb
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on drain

Nglish: Translation of drain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drain

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!