Meaning of DRAIN in English

I. ˈdrān verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English draynen, from Old English drēahnian, drēhnian; perhaps akin to Old Norse drangr dry log, Frisian drūgen to strain, Old English drȳge dry — more at dry

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to pass (liquid) through some permeable substance : filter


a. : to draw off (liquid) by degrees : cause to flow gradually out or off : draw off completely (as by means of a drain or trench)

drain the water from a tank

waterspouts to drain off the rain


(1) : to cause the gradual disappearance or extinction of

fright had drained all color from his face

the urge to conform was slowly draining the boy's individuality

: exhaust

war had drained the country's treasure and best manhood

(2) : vent , discharge

drain an undesirable emotion

enabling the patient to drain his deeply repressed anxieties

(3) : to exhaust physically or emotionally

drained as he was by his session …, he did not feel up to it — Hamilton Basso

matinee days are tough; two shows a day drain a girl — Ethel Merman


a. : to exhaust of liquid contents by drawing them off : make gradually dry or empty

drain a flooded mine

drain a marsh

: receive or carry away the surface water or discharge of

draining mountains of everlasting snow, the river twists for nineteen hundred miles — J.F.Dobie

this lake drains the numerous small streams of the area


(1) : empty

drain of wealth or resources

drained the country of its gold

(2) : to drink (a liquid) to the last drops

took the drink out of the drawer and drained it — Barnaby Conrad

: empty (a glass or other container) by drinking

allow you a respectable interlude in which to drain your glass — Richard Joseph

intransitive verb


a. : to flow off gradually

blood draining from a wound

b. : to disappear gradually : dwindle — often used with away

his nervousness drained away, as it always did — H.A.Sinclair

all his wealth had drained away

2. : to become emptied or freed of liquid by its flowing or dropping

put the umbrella on the porch to drain

3. : to discharge surface or surplus water or streams in a given direction or to an outlet

the middle western states drain into the Gulf of Mexico

Synonyms: see deplete

II. noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive


a. : an artificial channel by means of which liquid or other matter is drained or carried off : sewer , sink , trench

b. : a watercourse especially when narrow


a. : the act of draining or drawing off liquid : gradual outflow or withdrawal

drain from a wound

drain from a leaky faucet


(1) : a gradual outflow or withdrawal of something nonliquid : depletion or the amount of such depletion

a ruinous drain of dollars

a net drain from the East of five million souls — G.W.Pierson

(2) : something that causes depletions (as of resources) : burden , strain

indebtedness is apt to be one of the great drains upon the income of peasant families — Notes & Queries on Anthropology

the medical and social care of old people … constitutes a heavy drain on the economic resources of society — M.A.Abrams

the office worker emerged as a major drain on business profits — Gabriel Kolko

3. drains plural

a. : dregs

as though … I had emptied some dull opiate to the drains — John Keats

b. brewing , Britain : the grain from the mash tun


a. : the liquid or other matter that is drained off or away

the drain had collected at the foot of the spout, forming a small pool

b. : a small remaining amount of liquid

they still had a tiny drain of petrol for the works car for station trips — Nevil Shute

c. : a drink especially of some alcoholic beverage

she thought a drain of gin and peppermint … would do most good — William Heath

his cigar going and a drain of brandy … before him — A.J.Cronin

5. : a tube or a cylinder usually of absorbent material for drainage of a wound — compare cigarette drain

III. transitive verb

: sink 14

snaps his fingers when he drains a long putt — Barry McDermott

drained two free throws

IV. noun

( -s )

: an electrode in a field-effect transistor to which charge carriers migrate — compare gate herein source herein

- down the drain

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.