strain

noun (1)
\ˈstrān \

Definition of strain 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : lineage, ancestry

b : a group of presumed common ancestry with clear-cut physiological but usually not morphological distinctions a high-yielding strain of winter wheat broadly : a specified infraspecific group (such as a stock, line, or ecotype)

c : kind, sort discussions of a lofty strain

2a : inherited or inherent character, quality, or disposition a strain of weakness in the family

b : trace, streak a strain of fanaticism

3a : tune, air

b : a passage of verbal or musical expression

c : a stream or outburst of forceful or impassioned speech

4a : the tenor, pervading note, burden, or tone of an utterance or of a course of action or conduct

b : mood, temper

strain

verb
strained; straining; strains

Definition of strain (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to draw tight : cause to fit firmly strain the bandage over the wound

b : to stretch to maximum extension and tautness strain a canvas over a frame

2a : to exert (oneself, one's senses, etc.) to the utmost

b : to injure by overuse, misuse, or excessive pressure strained his back

c : to cause a change of form or size in (a body) by application of external force

3 : to squeeze or clasp tightly: such as

a : hug

b : to compress painfully : constrict

4a : to cause to pass through a strainer : filter

b : to remove by straining strain lumps out of the gravy

5 : to stretch beyond a proper limit that story strains my credulity

6 obsolete : to squeeze out : extort

intransitive verb

1a : to make violent efforts : strive has to strain to reach the high notes

b : to pull against resistance a dog straining at its leash

c : to contract the muscles forcefully in attempting to defecate often used in the phrase strain at stool

2 : to pass through or as if through a strainer the liquid strains readily

3 : to make great difficulty or resistance : balk

strain a point

: to go beyond a usual, accepted, or proper limit or rule

strain

noun (2)

Definition of strain (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : an act of straining or the condition of being strained: such as

a : bodily injury from excessive tension, effort, or use heart strain especially : one resulting from a wrench or twist and involving undue stretching of muscles or ligaments back strain

b : excessive or difficult exertion or labor

c : excessive physical or mental tension also : a force, influence, or factor causing such tension a strain on the marriage

d : deformation of a material body under the action of applied forces

2 : an unusual reach, degree, or intensity : pitch

3 archaic : a strained interpretation of something said or written

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Synonyms & Antonyms for strain

Synonyms: Verb

stretch, tauten, tense, tighten

Antonyms: Verb

loosen, slack, slacken

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Examples of strain in a Sentence

Verb

I strained my back trying to lift the couch. Too much computer work strains the eyes. He strained a muscle in his leg. His muscles strained under the heavy weight.
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First Known Use of strain

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

1558, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for strain

Noun (1)

Middle English streen progeny, lineage, from Old English strēon gain, acquisition; akin to Old High German gistriuni gain, Latin struere to heap up — more at strew

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French estreindre, from Latin stringere to bind or draw tight, press together; akin to Greek strang-, stranx drop squeezed out, strangalē halter

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Statistics for strain

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strain

The first known use of strain was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for strain

strain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of strain

: to injure (a body part or muscle) by too much tension, use, or effort

: to try very hard to do or get something

: to be pulled or stretched in a forceful way

strain

noun
\ˈstrān \

Kids Definition of strain

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a group of closely related living things that look similar but possess one or more unique characteristics Scientists are developing a new strain of wheat.

2 : a quality or disposition that runs through a family or group There's a strain of genius in that family.

3 : a small amount : trace There was a strain of sadness in his voice.

strain

verb
strained; straining

Kids Definition of strain (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to stretch or be stretched, pulled, or used to the limit My muscles strained under the load.

2 : to stretch beyond a proper limit The story strains the truth.

3 : to try very hard : make a great effort People in the back strained to hear.

4 : to injure or be injured by too much or too hard use or effort Don't strain your back.

5 : to press or pass through a strainer : filter strain juice

6 : to pour off liquid from by using a strainer Boil and then strain the pasta.

strain

noun

Kids Definition of strain (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : great worry and concern or physical effort Perhaps, the pressures of everyday stress and strain had gotten her down.— E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

2 : something that causes great worry and concern or physical effort Running the business was a strain on him. The heavy load was a strain on her back.

3 : bodily injury resulting from too much use or from a wrench or twist that stretches muscles and ligaments

4 : a force that pulls or stretches something to its limit : stress

strain

noun
\ˈstrān \

Medical Definition of strain 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: a group of presumed common ancestry with clear-cut physiological but usually not morphological distinctions a highly virulent strain of bacteria

Medical Definition of strain (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : to exert (as oneself) to the utmost

b : to injure by overuse, misuse, or excessive pressure strained his heart by overwork

c : to cause a change of form or size in (a body) by application of external force

2 : to cause to pass through a strainer

intransitive verb

: to contract the muscles forcefully in attempting to defecate often used in the phrase strain at stool

strain

noun

Medical Definition of strain (Entry 3 of 3)

: an act of straining or the condition of being strained: as

a : excessive physical or mental tension also : a force, influence, or factor causing such tension

b : bodily injury from excessive tension, effort, or use heart strain especially : one resulting from a wrench or twist and involving undue stretching of muscles or ligaments back strain — compare sprain

c : deformation of a material body under the action of applied forces

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More from Merriam-Webster on strain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strain

Spanish Central: Translation of strain

Nglish: Translation of strain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about strain

Comments on strain

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