strain

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

strain1 / strān/ • v. 1. [tr.] force (a part of one's body or oneself) to make a strenuous or unusually great effort: I stopped and listened, straining my ears for any sound. ∎  injure (a limb, muscle, or organ) by overexerting it or twisting it awkwardly: on cold days you are more likely to strain a muscle glare from the screen can strain your eyes. ∎  [intr.] make a strenuous and continuous effort: his voice was so quiet that I had to strain to hear it. ∎  make severe or excessive demands on: he strained her tolerance to the limit. ∎  [intr.] pull or push forcibly at something: the bear strained at the chain around its neck his stomach was swollen, straining against the thin shirt. ∎  stretch (something) tightly: the barbed wire fence was strained to posts six feet high. ∎ archaic embrace (someone) tightly: she strained the infant to her bosom again. 2. [tr.] pour (a mainly liquid substance) through a porous or perforated device or material in order to separate out any solid matter: strain the custard into a bowl. ∎  cause liquid to drain off (food that has been boiled, soaked, or canned) by using such a device. ∎  drain off (liquid) in this way: strain off the surplus fat. • n. 1. a force tending to pull or stretch something to an extreme or damaging degree: the usual type of chair puts an enormous strain on the spine | aluminum may bend under strain. ∎  Physics the magnitude of a deformation, equal to the change in the dimension of a deformed object divided by its original dimension. ∎  an injury to a part of the body caused by overexertion or twisting a muscle awkwardly: he has a slight groin strain. 2. a severe or excessive demand on the strength, resources, or abilities of someone or something: the accusations put a strain on relations between the two countries| she's obviously under considerable strain. ∎  a state of tension or exhaustion resulting from this: the telltale signs of nervous strain. 3. (usu. strains) the sound of a piece of music as it is played or performed: through the open windows came the strains of a hurdy-gurdy playing in the street. PHRASES: at (full) strain archaic using the utmost effort. strain every nervesee nerve. strain at the leashsee leash.DERIVATIVES: strain·a·ble adj. strain2 • n. 1. a breed, stock, or variety of an animal or plant developed by breeding. ∎  a natural or cultured variety of a microorganism with a distinct form, biochemistry, or virulence. 2. a particular tendency as part of a person's character: there was a powerful strain of insanity on her mother's side of the family. ∎  a variety of a particular abstract thing: a strain of feminist thought.

views updated

strainabstain, appertain, arcane, arraign, ascertain, attain, Bahrain, bane, blain, brain, Braine, Cain, Caine, campaign, cane, chain, champagne, champaign, Champlain, Charmaine, chicane, chow mein, cocaine, Coleraine, Coltrane, complain, constrain, contain, crane, Dane, deign, demesne, demi-mondaine, detain, disdain, domain, domaine, drain, Duane, Dwane, Elaine, entertain, entrain, explain, fain, fane, feign, gain, Germaine, germane, grain, humane, Hussein, inane, Jain, Jane, Jermaine, Kane, La Fontaine, lain, lane, legerdemain, Lorraine, main, Maine, maintain, mane, mise en scène, Montaigne, moraine, mundane, obtain, ordain, pain, Paine, pane, pertain, plain, plane, Port-of-Spain, profane, rain, Raine, refrain, reign, rein, retain, romaine, sane, Seine, Shane, Sinn Fein, skein, slain, Spain, Spillane, sprain, stain, strain, sustain, swain, terrain, thane, train, twain, Ujjain, Ukraine, underlain, urbane, vain, vane, vein, Verlaine, vicereine, wain, wane, Wayne •watch chain • mondaine • Haldane •ultramundane • Cellophane •novocaine • sugar cane • marocain

views updated

strain The dimensional change in the shape or volume of a body as a result of an applied stress or stresses. Strain is the ratio of the altered length, area, or volume to its original value, and may be homogeneous or inhomogeneous, and involve distortion, dilation, and rotation. See HOOKE'S LAW; POISSON'S RATIO; PURE SHEAR; SIMPLE SHEAR; and SHEAR MODULUS.

views updated

strain2
A. draw tight, stretch XIII; force the sense or application of: force to extreme effort XV;

B. bind or compress tightly (obs. or arch. except in s. to one's bosom, etc.);

C. press through a filtering medium XIV;

D. refl. and intr. exert oneself XIV (in s. at make a difficulty of ‘swallowing’ or accepting XVI, misunderstanding of s. at a gnat in Matt. 23: 24, which means ‘strain the liquor if they find a gnat in it’). ME. strayne, streyne, aphetic — OF. estrei(g)n-, stem of estreindre (mod. étreindre) :- L. stringere draw tight, bind tightly.
Hence or — AF. *estreignour strainer (-ER1) filter, sieve. XIV.

views updated

strain1 †gain, treasure OE.; †generation, offspring XII; †pedigree, ancestry, XIII; race, stock XIV; breed, inherited character XVII. OE. *strēon (Nhb. strīon), aphetic of ġestrēon = OS., OHG. gistriuni, rel. to OE. (ġe)strēonan, (ġe) strīenan gain, get, beget = OHG. (gi)striunen, f. Gmc. *streu- pile up, rel. to L. struēs pile, heap, struere build.

views updated

strain (strayn)
1. n. excessive stretching or working of a muscle, resulting in pain and swelling. Compare sprain.

2. n. a group of organisms obtained from a particular source or having special properties distinguishing them from other members of the same species.

3. vb. to damage a muscle by overstretching.

views updated

strain3 section of a piece of music; melody, tune; passage of song or poetry XVI; †stream of impassioned language; tone, tenor, drift XVII. f. STRAIN2 used in the senses ‘lift up (the voice) in song’, ‘utter in song, sing’, which are of doubtful orig.

views updated

strain Horticultural term for seed‐raised plants exhibiting certain desirable characteristics but which are not stable or predictable enough when propagated to be a cultivar.

views updated

strain strain at a gnat make a difficulty about accepting something trivial; with allusion to Matthew 23:24 ‘Ye…strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.’
strain at the leash be eager to begin or do something.

views updated

strain: see strength of materials.