: done or produced with excessive effort
: pushed by antagonism near to open conflict
strained relations

Examples of strained in a Sentence

He made a strained attempt at being polite. I took the complaint manager's strained smile to mean I wasn't a welcome sight.
Recent Examples on the Web On Xi Jinping’s first visit to Europe in five years, the red carpet receptions China’s leader received in France, Serbia and Hungary helped recast a strained relationship with the continent. Siyi Zhao, New York Times, 17 May 2024 But Penelope's platonic friendship with Colin becomes strained. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for strained 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'strained.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of strained was circa 1542

Dictionary Entries Near strained

Cite this Entry

“Strained.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strained. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: not easy or natural : forced
a strained smile
: brought close to war
strained relations between countries

More from Merriam-Webster on strained

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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