drain definition, meaning - what is drain in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “drain”

See all translations

drain

verb uk   us   /dreɪn/

drain verb (REMOVE LIQUID)

C2 [I or T] If you drain something, you remove the liquid from it, usually by pouring it away or allowing it to flow away, and if something drains, liquid flows away or out of it: Drain the pasta thoroughly. We drained the pond and filled it with fresh water. Drain (off) any liquid that is left in the rice. Don't bother drying the pans - just leave them to drain. [T] If you drain a glass or cup, you drink all the liquid in it.
More examples

drain verb (MAKE TIRED)

C2 [T] to make someone very tired: The long journey completely drained me.

drain verb (REDUCE)

C2 [I or T] to reduce or cause something to reduce: The long war had drained the resources of both countries. War drains a nation of its youth and its wealth (= uses them until they are gone). [I] If the blood/colour drains from your face, or if your face drains (of blood/colour), you turn very pale, often because you are shocked or ill: The colour drained from his face/cheeks when they told him the results.
Phrasal verbs

drain

noun uk   us   /dreɪn/

drain noun (PIPE)

C2 [C] a pipe or channel that is used to carry away waste matter and water from a building, or an opening in the road that rain water can flow down: I think the kitchen drain is blocked. She accidentally dropped her ring down a drain in the road.drains [plural] UK the system of pipes, openings in the ground or other devices that are used for carrying away waste matter and water: There was an unpleasant smell coming from the drains. [C] US (UK plughole) a hole in a bath, sink, etc. through which water flows away and into which you can put a plug
More examples

drain noun (MAKE TIRED)

[S] something that makes you feel very tired: I think taking care of her elderly mother is a big drain on her energy.

drain noun (REDUCE)

C2 [S] something that uses more of your energy, money, or time than you want to give: Having a big mortgage is a real drain on your earnings.
(Definition of drain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of drain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “drain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

lateral thinking

a way of solving a problem by thinking about it in a different and original way and not using traditional or expected methods

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

plyscraper noun

May 18, 2015
a skyscraper made mainly from wood The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

Read More