: 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 Roberts never flashes her Pretty Woman smile; Amanda looks strained, especially contrasted with the Scotts. Armond White, National Review, 10 Apr. 2024 Gordon Hayward never made it onto the Spectrum Center court Sunday night, taking a seat for Oklahoma City’s 121-118 win against the Charlotte Hornets due to a strained left posterior tibialis sustained Friday night in Indianapolis. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 8 Apr. 2024 For others, like Kennedy, the larynx muscles push the vocal cords closer together, creating a strained or strangled delivery. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 There was a lot of awe, disbelief and strained necks as people looked up for four minutes straight. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 8 Apr. 2024 The Celtics were without star forward Jaylen Brown due to a strained left hand and and guard Derrick White with a back contusion. Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee, 6 Apr. 2024 Biden and Netanyahu's roughly 30-minute call just days after Israeli airstrikes killed seven food aid workers in Gaza added a new layer of complication to the leaders' increasingly strained relationship. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 5 Apr. 2024 Our interactions have always felt strained, and her mental health issues only add another layer of difficulty. Harriette Cole, The Mercury News, 4 Apr. 2024 Faced with a strained medical system at the height of the Covid pandemic, the government backed down. Jin Yu Young, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024

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 20 Apr. 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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