Meaning of DRAIN in English

(~s, ~ing, ~ed)

Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.


If you ~ a liquid from a place or object, you remove the liquid by causing it to flow somewhere else. If a liquid ~s somewhere, it flows there.

Miners built the tunnel to ~ water out of the mines...

Now the focus is on ~ing the water...

Springs and rivers that ~ into lakes carry dissolved nitrates and phosphates...

VERB: V n adv/prep, V n, V prep/adv


If you ~ a place or object, you dry it by causing water to flow out of it. If a place or object ~s, water flows out of it until it is dry.

Vast numbers of people have been mobilised to ~ flooded land...

The soil ~s freely and slugs aren’t a problem.

VERB: V n, V


If you ~ food or if food ~s, you remove the liquid that it has been in, especially after it has been cooked or soaked in water.

Drain the pasta well, arrange on four plates and pour over the sauce...

Wash the leeks thoroughly and allow them to ~.

VERB: V n, V


A ~ is a pipe that carries water or sewage away from a place, or an opening in a surface that leads to the pipe.

Tony built his own house and laid his own ~s.



If the colour or the blood ~s or is ~ed from someone’s face, they become very pale. You can also say that someone’s face ~s or is ~ed of colour. (LITERARY)

Harry felt the colour ~ from his face...

Thacker’s face ~ed of colour...

Jock’s face had been suddenly ~ed of all colour...

VERB: V from n, V of n, be V-ed of n


If something ~s you, it leaves you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted.

My emotional turmoil had ~ed me.



United left the pitch looking stunned and ~ed.



This work is physically exhausting and emotionally ~ing.



If you say that something is a ~ on an organization’s finances or resources, you mean that it costs the organization a large amount of money, and you do not consider that it is worth it.

...an ultra-modern printing plant, which has been a big ~ on resources...

N-SING: usu adj N, N on n

see also brain ~


If you say that a country’s or a company’s resources or finances are ~ed, you mean that they are used or spent completely.

The state’s finances have been ~ed by war...

The company has steadily ~ed its cash reserves.

VERB: be V-ed, V n


If you say that something is going down the ~, you mean that it is being destroyed or wasted. (INFORMAL)

They were aware that their public image was rapidly going down the ~...

PHRASE: usu PHR after v


If you say that a business is going down the ~, you mean that it is failing financially. (INFORMAL)

Small local stores are going down the ~.

PHRASE: usu PHR after v

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .