Meaning of DRAIN in English

I. drain 1 /dreɪn/ BrE AmE verb

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: dreahnian ]


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

drain away/off/from

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)

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.