Meaning of STRAIN in English
/ streɪn; NAmE / noun , verb
WORRY / ANXIETY
[ 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
[ 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) .
[ 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
TYPE OF PLANT / ANIMAL / DISEASE
[ 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
[ 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.
[ C , usually pl. ] ( formal ) the sound of music being played or sung :
She could hear the strains of Mozart through the window.
[ vn ] to injure yourself or part of your body by making it work too hard :
to strain a muscle
➡ note at injure
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
[ 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
[ 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
[ 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.
- strain at the leash
- strain every nerve / sinew (to do sth)
—more at creak verb
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. 2005