\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

And Ryan, who often was Trump's wing man on some congressional issues but had a strained relationship with him, was the main focus of Trump's Twitter rage. Deb Riechmann,, "Trump unloads on Paul Ryan after ‘American Carnage’ excerpts: ‘Couldn’t get him out of Congress fast enough!’," 12 July 2019 That ultimately steered his Netflix routine into a section on fans’ strained relationships with disgraced entertainers. Nardine Saad,, "Here’s what Aziz Ansari said about his sexual misconduct scandal in his Netflix special," 9 July 2019 For a brief moment, Thomas Gilbert Jr.’s surprise visit to his parents’ home had the markings of a wayward son seeking to mend a strained relationship with his father. New York Times, "Princeton Graduate Found Guilty of Killing Father Over Allowance," 28 June 2019 The leaders' strained relationship appeared to be on display in photographs of their handshake at the start of the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the annual two-day G20 summit in Osaka. Tara John And Zahid Mahmood, CNN, "Photo reveals awkward first meeting between Theresa May and Vladimir Putin since Salisbury poisoning," 28 June 2019 Halle Berry shared a poignant Instagram post Sunday about her late dad to celebrate Father’s Day, highlighting the power of forgiveness to heal a strained relationship. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Halle Berry Opens Up About Forgiving Her Father After 'Addiction Robbed Us'," 17 June 2019 Further strained relations won't benefit either country. Myron Brilliant For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The trade deal Trump and Xi should agree on at G20," 28 June 2019 DeMarcus Cousins missed the first three rounds of the playoffs while Klay Thompson missed Toronto’s Game 3 win with a strained left hamstring. Gary Washburn,, "On the brink, Warriors need to reclaim their health," 9 June 2019 Klay Thompson, returning to the Warriors lineup after missing Game 3 because of a strained hamstring, had 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field, including six for 10 from three-point range. Los Angeles Times Staff And Wire Reports,, "NBA Finals: Raptors beat Warriors to take 3-1 lead, one win from title," 7 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of strained

circa 1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about strained

Statistics for strained

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strained

The first known use of strained was circa 1542

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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