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

noun [C, usually singular]
 
 
/dreɪn/
something that uses too much of your energy, money, or time: Having a big mortgage is a real drain on your earnings. Unexpected repairs to the building have been a huge drain on our financial resources. The company's pension liability has become a cash drain.
down the drain informal completely wasted or spoiled: When the project was scrapped, all our efforts went down the drain. People feel that renting property is money down the drain.
→  See also brain drain
(Definition of drain noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © 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

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More