\ ˈstrānd How to pronounce strained (audio) \

Definition of strained

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

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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

However, ties between Myanmar and the U.S. have grown strained amid concerns over the country’s military campaign against the Rohingya minority, which left approximately 10,000 dead and forced more than 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Jon Emont, WSJ, "U.S. Goes on the Offensive Against China’s Empire-Building Megaplan," 9 Apr. 2019 Extra bases Veteran reliever Pat Neshek threw a bullpen session, his third since suffering a strained flexor tendon in his forearm last month. Scott Lauber,, "J.P. Crawford rejoins Phillies, but playing time at shortstop isn't guaranteed," 6 June 2018 And, the most important cog to their offense, Yoenis Cespedes, who has missed the last 20 games with a strained hip flexor, is expected to start taking batting practice this week. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "As Mets nosedive, GM Sandy Alderson says club will never go 'extremist' with rebuild," 5 June 2018 Bozeman got 27 reps on the bench press despite dropping nearly 30 pounds during the two months leading up to the pro day and despite being limited some by a strained chest muscle. Matt Zenitz,, "How a 'mini Scott Cochran' is helping Alabama's NFL draft prospects," 22 Mar. 2018 The Mariners have a spot for Suzuki because Ben Gamel, another left-handed-hitting outfielder, may miss six weeks with a strained oblique muscle. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Ichiro Suzuki and Tim Lincecum: Dimmed Stars With Fuel to Burn," 7 Mar. 2018 Eickhoff has been on the disabled list because of a strained muscle in his upper back. Scott Lauber,, "Struggling Phillies rookie Scott Kingery feels a hot streak coming," 25 May 2018 Robbie Ray is out for at least a month with a strained oblique muscle. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Is Diamondbacks-Astros a World Series preview? The D'backs aren't afraid to dream," 4 May 2018 The Reds were held to three hits against Wade Miley, who made his season debut following a stretch on the disabled list with a strained groin muscle, in a 3-1 loss at Great American Ball Park. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Castillo bounces back with solid outing in loss to Milwaukee Brewers," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strained.' 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 strained

circa 1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for strained

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strained

The first known use of strained was circa 1542

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More Definitions for strained



English Language Learners Definition of strained

: feeling or showing the effect of too much work, use, effort, etc.
: not natural and sincere
: not friendly and relaxed


\ ˈstrānd How to pronounce strained (audio) \

Kids Definition of strained

1 : showing the effects of worry and concern a strained voice
2 : not easy or natural a strained smile
3 : not friendly or relaxed Relations between the countries are strained.

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More from Merriam-Webster on strained

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strained

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strained

Spanish Central: Translation of strained

Nglish: Translation of strained for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of strained for Arabic Speakers

Comments on strained

What made you want to look up strained? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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