\ ˈstrānd \

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

Turkey’s reconciliation with Russia has at times strained relations with the West. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Fragile Syria Cease-Fire Tests Russia-Turkey Ties," 25 Nov. 2018 Manbij has been a major sticking point in the strained relations between the U.S. and Turkey. Lolita C. Baldor, The Seattle Times, "US starts training Turkish troops for joint Syria patrols," 1 Oct. 2018 Manbij has been a major sticking point in the strained relations between the two NATO allies. Zeynep Bilginsoy, Fox News, "Turkey says it will patrol north Syria town with US forces," 21 Sep. 2018 Pompeo was visiting Mexico with Cabinet-level officials to meet with both Pena Nieto and president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after a sea-change election that could offer a chance for the neighbors to repair strained relations. Susannah George,, "Mexico officials urge Mike Pompeo to reunite immigrant families quickly," 13 July 2018 The purges that followed decimated Turkey’s institutions and further strained relations with its Western partners, most notably Germany and the U.S.; each had citizens swept up and thrown in prison., "Bloomberg," 18 May 2018 Adding to Subway's woes is a long history of strained relations with its thousands of franchisees, who complain that the company's deep promotions are nibbling away at already-shrinking profits. The Washington Post,, "'It's just not what people want anymore': Subway to close hundreds of US stores," 26 Apr. 2018 Why?: Complex emotions can compound the unrelenting squeeze caregivers feel, including those caused by strained relations with siblings, ambivalence toward the care recipient and, often, resentment over having to go through the journey alone. Michele Parente,, "How to cope with the emotions of caregiving," 24 Apr. 2018 The Russian vetoes have been one of the main irritants in strained relations between Washington and Moscow, with Western diplomats accusing Russia of trying to protect the Assad government. The Washington Post,, "New sanctions on Russia coming, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says," 15 Apr. 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

4 Jan 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 \

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).


marked by shyness and lack of polish

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