Meaning of STRAIN in English

STRAIN

/ streɪn; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun

WORRY / ANXIETY

1.

[ U , C ] pressure on sb/sth because they have too much to do or manage, or sth very difficult to deal with; the problems, worry or anxiety that this produces :

Their marriage is under great strain at the moment.

These repayments are putting a strain on our finances.

Relax, and let us take the strain (= do things for you) .

The transport service cannot cope with the strain of so many additional passengers.

You will learn to cope with the stresses and strains of public life.

I found it a strain having to concentrate for so long.

➡ note at pressure

PHYSICAL PRESSURE

2.

[ U , C ] the pressure that is put on sth when a physical force stretches, pushes, or pulls it :

The rope broke under the strain .

You should try not to place too much strain on muscles and joints.

The ground here cannot take the strain of a large building.

The cable has a 140kg breaking strain (= it will break when it is stretched or pulled by a force greater than this) .

INJURY

3.

[ C , U ] an injury to a part of your body, such as a muscle, that is caused by using it too much or by twisting it :

a calf / groin / leg strain

muscle strain

TYPE OF PLANT / ANIMAL / DISEASE

4.

[ C ] a particular type of plant or animal, or of a disease caused by bacteria, etc. :

a new strain of mosquitoes resistant to the poison

This is only one of the many strains of the disease.

IN SB'S CHARACTER

5.

[ C , usually sing. ] a particular tendency in the character of a person or group, or a quality in their manner

SYN streak :

He had a definite strain of snobbery in him.

OF MUSIC

6.

[ C , usually pl. ] ( formal ) the sound of music being played or sung :

She could hear the strains of Mozart through the window.

■ verb

INJURE

1.

[ vn ] to injure yourself or part of your body by making it work too hard :

to strain a muscle

➡ note at injure

MAKE EFFORT

2.

strain (sth) (for sth) | strain (sth) (to do sth) to make an effort to do sth, using all your mental or physical strength :

[ vn to inf ]

I strained my ears (= listened very hard) to catch what they were saying.

[ vn ]

Necks were strained for a glimpse of the stranger.

[ v to inf ]

People were straining to see what was going on.

[ v ]

He burst to the surface, straining for air.

Bend gently to the left without straining.

STRETCH TO LIMIT

3.

[ vn ] to try to make sth do more than it is able to do :

The sudden influx of visitors is straining hotels in the town to the limit.

His constant complaints were straining our patience.

The dispute has strained relations between the two countries (= made them difficult) .

PUSH / PULL HARD

4.

[ v + adv. / prep. ] to push hard against sth; to pull hard on sth :

She strained against the ropes that held her.

The dogs were straining at the leash , eager to get to the park.

SEPARATE SOLID FROM LIQUID

5.

[ vn ] strain sth (off) to pour food, etc. through sth with very small holes in it, for example a sieve , in order to separate the solid part from the liquid part :

Use a colander to strain the vegetables.

Strain off any excess liquid.

IDIOMS

- strain at the leash

- strain every nerve / sinew (to do sth)

—more at creak verb

••

WORD ORIGIN

verb and noun senses 1 to 3 noun sense 6 Middle English (as a verb): from Old French estreindre , from Latin stringere draw tight. Current senses of the noun arose in the mid 16th cent.

noun senses 4 to 5 Old English strīon acquisition, gain , of Germanic origin; related to Latin struere to build up.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.