What does strain mean?

Definitions for strain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word strain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. strainnoun

    (physics) deformation of a physical body under the action of applied forces

  2. stress, strainnoun

    difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension

    "she endured the stresses and strains of life"; "he presided over the economy during the period of the greatest stress and danger"- R.J.Samuelson

  3. tune, melody, air, strain, melodic line, line, melodic phrasenoun

    a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence

    "she was humming an air from Beethoven"

  4. strain, mental strain, nervous strainnoun

    (psychology) nervousness resulting from mental stress

    "his responsibilities were a constant strain"; "the mental strain of staying alert hour after hour was too much for him"

  5. breed, strain, stocknoun

    a special variety of domesticated animals within a species

    "he experimented on a particular breed of white rats"; "he created a new strain of sheep"

  6. form, variant, strain, var.noun

    (biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups

    "a new strain of microorganisms"

  7. strainnoun

    injury to a muscle (often caused by overuse); results in swelling and pain

  8. tenor, strainnoun

    the general meaning or substance of an utterance

    "although I disagreed with him I could follow the tenor of his argument"

  9. striving, nisus, pains, strainnoun

    an effortful attempt to attain a goal

  10. strain, strainingnoun

    an intense or violent exertion

  11. song, strainverb

    the act of singing

    "with a shout and a song they marched up to the gates"

  12. strive, reach, strainverb

    to exert much effort or energy

    "straining our ears to hear"

  13. try, strain, stressverb

    test the limits of

    "You are trying my patience!"

  14. strain, extendverb

    use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity

    "He really extended himself when he climbed Kilimanjaro"; "Don't strain your mind too much"

  15. sift, sieve, strainverb

    separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements

    "sift the flour"

  16. tense, strain, tense upverb

    cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious

    "he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up"

  17. strain, tenseverb

    become stretched or tense or taut

    "the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed;" "the rope strained when the weight was attached"

  18. filter, filtrate, strain, separate out, filter outverb

    remove by passing through a filter

    "filter out the impurities"

  19. puree, strainverb

    rub through a strainer or process in an electric blender

    "puree the vegetables for the baby"

  20. deform, distort, strainverb

    alter the shape of (something) by stress

    "His body was deformed by leprosy"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Strainnoun

    race; stock; generation; descent; family

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  2. Strainnoun

    hereditary character, quality, or disposition

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  3. Strainnoun

    rank; a sort

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  4. Strainadjective

    to draw with force; to extend with great effort; to stretch; as, to strain a rope; to strain the shrouds of a ship; to strain the cords of a musical instrument

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  5. Strainadjective

    to act upon, in any way, so as to cause change of form or volume, as forces on a beam to bend it

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  6. Strainadjective

    to exert to the utmost; to ply vigorously

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  7. Strainadjective

    to stretch beyond its proper limit; to do violence to, in the matter of intent or meaning; as, to strain the law in order to convict an accused person

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  8. Strainadjective

    to injure by drawing, stretching, or the exertion of force; as, the gale strained the timbers of the ship

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  9. Strainadjective

    to injure in the muscles or joints by causing to make too strong an effort; to harm by overexertion; to sprain; as, to strain a horse by overloading; to strain the wrist; to strain a muscle

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  10. Strainadjective

    to squeeze; to press closely

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  11. Strainadjective

    to make uneasy or unnatural; to produce with apparent effort; to force; to constrain

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  12. Strainadjective

    to urge with importunity; to press; as, to strain a petition or invitation

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  13. Strainadjective

    to press, or cause to pass, through a strainer, as through a screen, a cloth, or some porous substance; to purify, or separate from extraneous or solid matter, by filtration; to filter; as, to strain milk through cloth

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  14. Strainverb

    to make violent efforts

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  15. Strainverb

    to percolate; to be filtered; as, water straining through a sandy soil

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  16. Strainnoun

    the act of straining, or the state of being strained

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  17. Strainnoun

    a violent effort; an excessive and hurtful exertion or tension, as of the muscles; as, he lifted the weight with a strain; the strain upon a ship's rigging in a gale; also, the hurt or injury resulting; a sprain

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  18. Strainnoun

    a change of form or dimensions of a solid or liquid mass, produced by a stress

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  19. Strainnoun

    a portion of music divided off by a double bar; a complete musical period or sentence; a movement, or any rounded subdivision of a movement

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  20. Strainnoun

    any sustained note or movement; a song; a distinct portion of an ode or other poem; also, the pervading note, or burden, of a song, poem, oration, book, etc.; theme; motive; manner; style; also, a course of action or conduct; as, he spoke in a noble strain; there was a strain of woe in his story; a strain of trickery appears in his career

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

  21. Strainnoun

    turn; tendency; inborn disposition. Cf. 1st Strain

    Etymology: [See Strene.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Strain

    strān, v.t. to stretch tight: to draw with force: to exert to the utmost: to injure by overtasking: to make tight: to constrain, make uneasy or unnatural: to press to one's self, to embrace: to pass through a filter.—v.i. to make violent efforts: to filter.—n. the act of straining: a violent effort: an injury inflicted by straining, esp. a wrenching of the muscles: a note, sound, or song, stretch of imagination, &c.: any change of form or bulk of a portion of matter either solid or fluid, the system of forces which sustains the strain being called the stress: mood, disposition.—ns. Strain′er, one who, or that which, strains: an instrument for filtration: a sieve, colander, &c.; Strain′ing, a piece of leather for stretching as a base for the seat of a saddle.—Strain a point, to make a special effort: to exceed one's duty; Strain at, in Matt. xxiii. 24, a misprint for Strain out. [O. Fr. straindre—L. stringĕre, to stretch tight. Cf. String and Strong.]

  2. Strain

    strān, n. race, stock, generation: descent: natural tendency, any admixture or element in one's character.—n. Strain′ing-beam, a tie-beam uniting the tops of the queen-posts. [M. E. streen—A.S. gestréon, gain; confused in M. E. with the related M. E. strend—A.S. strynd, lineage.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Strain

    The condition of a body when subjected to a stress. Various consequences may ensue from strain in the way of disturbance of electric and other qualities of the body strained.

Suggested Resources

  1. strain

    Song lyrics by strain -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by strain on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'strain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4159

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'strain' in Nouns Frequency: #1423

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'strain' in Verbs Frequency: #943

How to pronounce strain?

How to say strain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of strain in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of strain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of strain in a Sentence

  1. John Sifton:

    What was going on was the typical chaos of a bureaucracy under the strain of immense crisis, people at checkpoints hadn't slept well in days, couldn't read the names properly or read the first name as the last name.

  2. James Post:

    It was sincerely never my intention to discourage anyone's access to their elected officials. I now understand how my poor choice of words may have led a few attendees to draw this conclusion and I offer my humble apology for causing any undue strain on the command and its mission.

  3. William Schaffner:

    They've been studied and we know that after you had a cold, you develop antibodies to that particular human strain of coronavirus and you will be protected, but it turns out the protection begins to wane after about a year.

  4. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

    Every district will be required to submit a plan to ensure children of healthcare workers and first responders have access to child care so these closures do not strain our hospitals and that children who depend on school meal programs continue getting the support they need.

  5. Jonah Blank:

    Iran backs Shi’a groups and Saudi Arabia backs ones that adhere to Saudi Arabia own strain of Sunni Muslims doctrine, iran sees this as a largely defensive operation – protecting co-religionists against a violent onslaught that the Pakistan state is unwilling or unable to stave off.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for strain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"strain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 25 May 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/strain>.

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malicious satisfaction
  • A. huff
  • B. excogitate
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