Definition of sprain in English:


Syllabification: sprain
Pronunciation: /sprān


[with object]
  • Wrench or twist the ligaments of (an ankle, wrist, or other joint) violently so as to cause pain and swelling but not dislocation: he left in a wheelchair after spraining an ankle
    More example sentences
    • In January she ‘fell’ down two flights of stairs, spraining her wrist and twisting an ankle.
    • A mother-of-three has been awarded £1,000 in damages after spraining her wrist while lifting a bread tray at a York supermarket's in-store bakery.
    • Would you put your mother in a home for the elderly after spraining her ankle?


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  • The result of a wrench or twist of the ligaments of a joint.
    More example sentences
    • Fishburne, too, suffered his fair share of sprains and bruises, although he said that ‘it comes with the territory’ when dealing with the action genre.
    • Has she said what gave her the bruises or sprains?
    • Acute injuries, such as a sudden sprain or muscle pull, seem to happen out of the blue.


early 17th century: of unknown origin.

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