I. drain 1 /dreɪn/ BrE AmE verb
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: dreahnian ]
1 . LIQUID
a) [transitive] to make the water or liquid in something flow away:
The swimming pool is drained and cleaned every winter.
drain something from something
Brad drained all the oil from the engine.
Can you drain the spaghetti, please (=pour away the water from the pan) ?
b) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if liquid drains away, it flows away
I watched the bath water drain away.
c) [intransitive] if something drains, the liquid that is in it or on it flows away and it becomes dry:
Open ditches drain very efficiently.
She washed up and left the dishes to drain.
well-drained/poorly-drained soil (=soil from which water flows away quickly or slowly)
This plant needs rich, well-drained soil.
2 . MAKE SOMEBODY TIRED [transitive] to make someone feel very tired and without any energy:
Working with children all day really drains you.
3 . USE TOO MUCH [transitive] to use too much of something, especially money, so that there is not enough left:
Huge imports were draining the country’s currency reserves.
4 . the colour/blood drains from sb’s face/cheeks used to say that someone’s face becomes very pale, because they are frightened or shocked:
When the verdict was read out, all the colour drained from Zelda’s cheeks.
5 . drain a glass/cup etc written to drink all the liquid in a glass, cup etc:
Hannah drained her mug in one gulp.
drain away phrasal verb
if something drains away, it is reduced until there is none left:
I watched the light drain away.
anger/confidence/tension/hope etc drains away
Sally felt her anger drain away.
drain something ↔ off phrasal verb
to make water or a liquid flow off something, leaving it dry:
After cooking the meat, drain off the excess fat.
II. drain 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . especially British English a pipe that carries water or waste liquids away:
The flood was caused by a blocked drain.
There’s a problem with the drains.
2 . British English the frame of metal bars over a drain where water etc can flow into it SYN grate American English
3 . American English the hole in the bottom of a bath or ↑ sink that water flows out through SYN plughole British English
4 . a drain on something something that continuously uses a lot of time, money etc:
The war was an enormous drain on the country’s resources.
5 . down the drain informal
a) if time, effort, or money goes down the drain, it is wasted or produces no results:
Well that’s it. 18 months’ work down the drain.
b) if an organization, country etc goes down the drain, it becomes worse or fails:
That’s why this country’s going down the drain!
⇨ ↑ brain drain , ⇨ laugh like a drain at ↑ laugh 1 (1)