- strain1 [streın] n▬▬▬▬▬▬▬1¦(worry)¦2¦(difficulty)¦3¦(force)¦4¦(injury)¦5¦(plant/animal)¦6¦(quality)¦7¦(way of saying something)¦8 strains of something▬▬▬▬▬▬▬[Sense: 1-4; Date: 1500-1600; Origin: STRAIN2][Sense: 5-8; Origin: Old English streon 'gain']1.) ¦(WORRY)¦ [U and C]worry that is caused by having to deal with a problem or work too hard over a long period of time→↑stress▪ I couldn't look after him any more; the strain was too much for me.▪ Did you find the job a strain ?▪ the stresses and strains of police lifestrain for▪ The trial has been a terrible strain for both of us.strain on▪ It's quite a strain on me when he's drinking heavily.put/place a strain on sb▪ The long working hours put a severe strain on employees.under (a) strain▪ I know you've been under a lot of strain lately.crack/collapse/buckle etc under the strain(=become unable to deal with a problem or work)▪ I could see that she was beginning to crack under the strain.2.) ¦(DIFFICULTY)¦ [U and C]a difficulty or problem that is caused when a person, relationship, organization, or system has too much to do or too many problems to deal withstrain on▪ The dry summer has further increased the strain on water resources.put/place (a) strain on sth▪ The flu epidemic has put a huge strain on the health service.strain in▪ The attack has led to strains in the relationship between the two countries.under (a) strain▪ His marriage was under strain.break/crack/collapse etc under the strain▪ The party split under the strain.3.) ¦(FORCE)¦[U]a situation in which something is being pulled or pushed, or is holding weight, and so might break or become damagedstrain on▪ The strain on the cables supporting the bridge is enormous.put/place (a) strain on sth▪ Some of these exercises put too much strain on the back muscles.▪ These four posts take the strain of the whole structure.break/snap/collapse etc under the strain▪ The rope snapped under the strain.4.) ¦(INJURY)¦ [U and C]an injury to a muscle or part of your body that is caused by using it too much▪ Long hours working at a computer can cause eye strain.▪ The goalkeeper is still out of action with a knee strain.5.) ¦(PLANT/ANIMAL)¦a type of animal, plant, or diseasestrain of▪ different strains of wheat▪ a new strain of the flu virus6.) ¦(QUALITY)¦ [singular]a particular quality which people have, especially one that is passed from parents to childrenstrain of▪ There's a strain of madness in his family.7.) ¦(WAY OF SAYING SOMETHING)¦ [singular] formalan amount of a feeling that you can see in the way someone speaks, writes, paints etc▪ a strain of bitterness in Young's later work8.) strains of sthliterary the sound of music being played▪ We sipped wine to the strains of Beethoven.strain 2strain2 v▬▬▬▬▬▬▬1¦(injure)¦2¦(effort)¦3¦(liquid)¦4¦(difficulty)¦5¦(pull/push)¦6 strain every nerve7 be straining at the leash8 not strain yourself▬▬▬▬▬▬▬[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: estraindre, from Latin stringere; STRINGENT]1.) ¦(INJURE)¦ [T]to injure a muscle or part of your body by using it too much or making it work too hard▪ I've strained a muscle in my leg▪ You'll strain your eyes trying to read in this light.2.) ¦(EFFORT)¦ [I and T]to try very hard to do something using all your strength or abilitystrain (sth) to do sth▪ She was straining to keep her head above the water.strain for▪ Bill choked and gasped, straining for air.strain your ears/eyes(=try very hard to hear or see)▪ I strained my ears, listening for any sound in the silence of the cave.3.) ¦(LIQUID)¦ [T]to separate solid things from a liquid by pouring the mixture through something with very small holes in it→↑sieve▪ She strained the pasta.4.) ¦(DIFFICULTY)¦ [T]to cause difficulties for something by making too much work or too many problems which it cannot deal with easily▪ The increased costs will certainly strain our finances.▪ The incident has strained relations between the two countries.▪ I felt that my patience was being strained to the limit .5.) ¦(PULL/PUSH)¦ [I]to pull hard at something or push hard against somethingstrain against▪ Buddy's huge gut strained against the buttons on his shirt.strain at▪ a dog straining at its lead6.) strain every nerveto try as hard as possible to do something▪ He was straining every nerve to impress the judges.7.) be straining at the leashto be eager to be allowed to do something▪ There are 30,000 troops in the area, all straining at the leash.8.) not strain yourselfto not work too hard or do too much physical activity▪ Don't strain yourself.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.