- 1 [with object] Force (a part of one’s body or oneself) to make an unusually great effort: I stopped and listened, straining my ears for any soundMore example sentences
- Anyone who forgot to bring the radio had to stand or strain themselves to listen to the game on somebody else's radio.
- He cries weakly, the effort clearly straining his feeble body.
- When one strained oneself to listen to the speaker one could make out that some important male writers were speaking in generalities.
- 1.1 [no object] Make an unusually great effort: his voice was so quiet that I had to strain to hear itMore example sentences
struggle, labour, toil, make a supreme effort, make every effort, spare no effort, strain every nerve, try very hard, strive, break one's back, push/drive oneself to the limit, do one's best• informal pull out all the stops, go all out, give it one's all, bend/lean over backwards, give it one's best shot, bust a gut, break one's neck, do one's damnedest, kill oneselfAustralian • informal go for the doctor
- She whispered so softly that Heart had to strain to hear.
- Because I was taking notes and straining to hear what was being said on the tape, I didn't necessarily realise what was being said.
- Be quiet and excuse me; I am straining to hear a conversation and you are making it difficult for me to catch all of it.
- 1.2Injure (a limb, muscle, or organ) by overexerting it: on cold days you are more likely to strain a muscle glare from the screen can strain your eyesMore example sentences
- I need to have wheels installed on this thing, she thought, straining her arm muscles and knocking her knees against its bulk as she walked.
- Aberfeldie last year learned the cost of attacking through one player when Minton-Connell strained his thigh muscle in the warm-up before the grand final.
- But because Gandy has favored the muscle, it has partially torn his right biceps and strained another muscle.
- 1.3Make severe or excessive demands on: he strained her tolerance to the limitMore example sentences
overtax, overwork, overburden, overextend, overreach, overtask, make too many demands on, run/work oneself into the ground, exert excessively, drive too far, exert to the limit, push to the limit; exhaust, wear out, fatigue, tire, tax; overdo it, work too hardovertax, be too much for; exceed the limits of, drain, sap, use up, exceed the range/scope of, overstep; test, tax, put a strain on, fray
- The Habsburg Monarchy was strained by the demands of different nationalities for autonomy.
- In the era of the Internet, the efficacy of the name suppression orders was always going to be severely strained, but some online publishers took the issue seriously.
- Relations between Chicago and Britain have been severely strained by the announcement, coming as it does weeks before an election.
- 1.4 [no object] Pull or push forcibly at something: the bear strained at the chain around its neck his stomach was swollen, straining against the thin shirtMore example sentences
- It uses the pressure points on the shih-tzu's nose and head to apply pressure which stops the shih-tzu from pulling, jumping and straining against the leash.
- No matter how he twisted and pulled, straining against the straps, he could not free himself.
- Fenix jerked, straining against the cord - he wanted to murder the man!
- 1.5Stretch (something) tightly: the barbed wire fence was strained to posts six feet highMore example sentences
- For the most part the structure is strained tightly together, and decorated, by spidery cross braces.
- During these works transmitting took place with the help of an antenna which was strained between the other tower and a small wood mast.
- It originally used as transmitting antenna a cage aerial, which was strained between two 60 meters tall wood towers.
- 1.6 • archaic Embrace (someone) tightly: she strained the infant to her bosom againMore example sentences
- When she blinked, she saw the boy fall down and the mother straining him and beating at him.
- I felt his arms straining me, could hear his laughter near me, could smell his stench.
- 2 [with object] Pour (a mainly liquid substance) through a porous or perforated device or material in order to separate out any solid matter: strain the custard into a bowlMore example sentences
- Slowly strain the butter through a fine sieve into a clean pan, leaving the sediment behind.
- To finish, strain the infused milk into a clean saucepan, add the breadcrumbs and whisk over a medium heat for two to three minutes until thickened.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, leave to cool and then strain the mixture through a sieve into a large jug.
- 2.1Cause liquid to drain off (food which has been boiled, soaked, or canned) by using a porous or perforated device: she turned to the sink to strain the noodlesMore example sentences
- Right whales are large baleen whales, meaning that instead of teeth they have bonelike plates, which they use to strain food from large gulps of water.
- Simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat and strain all ingredients.
- When you're ready to start cooking, strain the beef, reserving the marinade and the other ingredients.
- 2.2Drain (liquid) off food by using a porous or perforated device: strain off the surplus fatMore example sentences
- This is the most successful part of the recipe. You strain the mussel liquid into a bowl, wipe out your pot, then re-add the liquid and bring it to a boil.
- It is at this point that you would want to strain off the residual liquid.
- After about three weeks strain off the liquid and water it around the roots of the plants.
nounBack to top
- 1A force tending to pull or stretch something to an extreme or damaging degree: the usual type of chair puts an enormous strain on the spine [mass noun]: aluminium may bend under strainMore example sentences
- The structure of the ligamenta flava enables them to be stretched to high strains without damage.
- In addition to the pull of Jupiter's gravity, Io also feels the strain from the gravitational fields of Jupiter's other large moons.
- What is the impact of stresses and strains from external forces on our practice field?
- 1.1An injury to a part of the body caused by overexertion: he has a slight groin strainMore example sentences
- The new automobile insurance system includes a limit of $4,000 on pain and suffering awards for a minor injury such as a strain, sprain or minor whiplash.
- The most common snow injuries are strains, sprains and fractures.
- Chronic knee injuries include things like strains, sprains and tendinitis.
- 1.2 Physics The magnitude of a deformation, equal to the change in the dimension of a deformed object divided by its original dimension.More example sentences
- At relatively low shear strains, deformation is apparent from the slight deformation of strain markers, such as the overturning of ice-wedge casts.
- In this paper we present new quantitative data on strain, deformation temperatures and vorticity of flow at the top of the Greater Himalayan Slab.
- The c-maximum fabric normal to foliation is typical of calcite rocks deformed experimentally to high strains in simple shear.
- 2A severe or excessive demand on the strength, resources, or abilities of someone or something: the accusations put a strain on relations between the two countries [mass noun]: she’s under considerable strainMore example sentences
- This modification, while it suits the owner perfectly, put a strain on my ability to shoot small 25 yard groups.
- It is this population boom that has put a strain on the land resource in Zambia creating a breeding ground for desertification.
- Overweight and obese people are at far greater risk of a number of illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease, and an ever fatter population will put a strain on healthcare resources.
- 2.1 [mass noun] A state of tension or exhaustion resulting from severe demands on one’s strength or resources: the telltale signs of nervous strainMore example sentences
- Exhaustion, strain and tension are what hit you.
- This constant state of alert places high tension and strain on staff.
- As the first week passed by so did some strain and tension on the couple's relationship.
- 3 (usually strains) The sound of a piece of music: the distant strains of the brass band grew louderMore example sentences
- Baraka here is particularly interested in the differing timbres or tones that the two strains of music produced.
- In the Kiev Sports Palace gymnasium I watched Larissa go through her paces to the strains of music by Tchaikovsky.
- A fan turns slowly overhead, keeping time with the strains of Latino music.
at (full) strain
- • archaic Using the utmost effort.More example sentences
- Recovery of stored electrochemical energy should enable moderate efficiencies to be achieved even at full strain.
- Operating an actuator of stack height at half its potential strain, compared to operating a stack of height at full strain, reduces power consumption by 50%.
- The manager finds himself on-board a 24-foot boat, careening into a wave-whipping southeast wind, sailing full strain.
strain every nerve
- see nerve.
strain at the leash
- see leash.
- More example sentences
- Soft bodies are manufactured from strainable cotton or velours material and can be washed off damp.
- The pure aluminium is highly strainable and it induces a particularised texture, common to the material and to the used forming process.
- It's also strainable for quick clean-up on the cage floor.
Middle English (as a verb): from Old French estreindre, from Latin stringere 'draw tight'. Current senses of the noun arose in the mid 16th century.
- 1A particular breed, stock, or variety of an animal or plant.More example sentences
- Australia has been trying to breed better strains of plants and animals for ever.
- Individual species are also becoming standardized, experts say, with cultivated strains of animals and plants ousting local varieties.
- A survey of 13 domestic breeds and 3 inbred strains was carried out.
- 1.1A natural or cultured variety of a microorganism with a distinct form, biochemistry, or virulence.More example sentences
- Lesprit and coworkers investigated the impact of this system by comparing the virulence of two bacterial strains in a rat model of acute pneumonia.
- Prevnar protects against seven strains of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria.
- When she went to hospital to have the wound examined she was informed that she was infected with a strain of staph bacteria, similar to the MRSA superbug.
- 1.2A variety of something abstract: a strain of feminist thoughtMore example sentences
- There is a strain of feminism that encourages women to behave as if we have arrived in some feminist Utopia where rape is impossible.
- What about the strain of radical feminism in the current government and the attitudes they create?
- There's a strain of feminism that comes out of the women's health movement of the seventies that is deeply suspicious of reproductive technology.
- 2A particular tendency as part of a person’s character: there was a powerful strain of insanity on her mother’s side of the familyMore example sentences
- These are two warring but important strains to the national character, at tension with each other.
- Though not slapstick or of the knee-slapping variety, Hamer is droll and often wickedly subtle in his deadly strain of humour.
- Tense, haunted and melancholy, the composer's dark vision was only relieved by a mordant strain of humour.
Old English strīon 'acquisition, gain', of Germanic origin; related to Latin struere 'to build up'.