v. & n.
1 tr. & intr. stretch tightly; make or become taut or tense.
2 tr. exercise (oneself, one's senses, a thing, etc.) intensely or excessively, press to extremes.
3 a intr. make an intensive effort. b intr. (foll. by after) strive intensely for (straining after perfection).
4 intr. (foll. by at) tug, pull (the dog strained at the leash).
5 intr. hold out with difficulty under pressure (straining under the load).
6 tr. a distort from the true intention or meaning. b apply (authority, laws, etc.) beyond their province or in violation of their true intention.
7 tr. overtask or injure by overuse or excessive demands (strain a muscle; strained their loyalty).
8 a tr. clear (a liquid) of solid matter by passing it through a sieve etc. b tr. (foll. by out) filter (solids) out from a liquid. c intr. (of a liquid) percolate.
9 tr. hug or squeeze tightly.
10 tr. use (one's ears, eyes, voice, etc.) to the best of one's power.
1 a the act or an instance of straining. b the force exerted in this.
2 an injury caused by straining a muscle etc.
3 a a severe demand on physical strength or resources. b the exertion needed to meet this (is suffering from strain).
4 (in sing. or pl.) a snatch or spell of music or poetry.
5 a tone or tendency in speech or writing (more in the same strain).
6 Physics a the condition of a body subjected to stress; molecular displacement. b a quantity measuring this, equal to the amount of deformation usu. divided by the original dimension.
Phrases and idioms:
at strain (or full strain) exerted to the utmost. strain every nerve make every possible effort. strain oneself 1 injure oneself by effort.
2 make undue efforts.
strainable adj.
Etymology: ME f. OF estreindre estreign- f. L stringere strict- draw tight
1 a breed or stock of animals, plants, etc.
2 a moral tendency as part of a person's character (a strain of aggression).
Etymology: ME, = progeny, f. OE streon (recorded in gestreonan beget), rel. to L struere build

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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