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English definition of “strain”

strain

noun uk   /streɪn/ us  

strain noun (PRESSURE)

B2 [C usually singular or U] a force or influence that stretches, pulls, or puts pressure on something, sometimes causing damage: The hurricane put such a strain on the bridge that it collapsed. As you get older, excess weight puts a lot of strain on the heart. Their constant arguments were putting a strain on their marriage. The recent decline in the dollar has put a bigger strain on the economic system. Migration into the cities is putting a strain on already stretched resources. C2 [C] an injury to a muscle or similar soft part of the body caused by using that part too much: a groin/hamstring strain
See also
B2 [C or U] something that makes you feel nervous and worried: She's a lot better than she was but she's still not ready to face the stresses and strains of a job. He's been under a lot of strain recently.

strain noun (TYPE)

[C] a particular type or quality: A strain of puritanism runs through all her work. [C] an animal or plant from a particular group whose characteristics are different in some way from others of the same group: Scientists have discovered a new strain of the virus which is much more dangerous.

strain noun (MUSIC)

strains [plural] the sound of music being played or performed: I could hear the strains of Mozart in the background.

strain

verb uk   /streɪn/ us  

strain verb (SEPARATE)

[T] to separate liquid food from solid food, especially by pouring it through a utensil with small holes in it: Could you strain the vegetables, please. I usually strain the juice off the pineapple and use it in another recipe.

strain verb (PRESSURE)

B2 [I or T] to become stretched or to experience pressure, or to make something do or experience this: I've put on such a lot of weight recently - this dress is straining at the seams. I strained a muscle in my back playing squash. Don't watch TV in the dark - you'll strain your eyes! [+ to infinitive] figurative I really had to strain (= try very hard) to reach those top notes.figurative I was straining (my ears) (= listening hard) to hear what they were saying.
Compare

strain verb (MONEY)

C2 [T] to cause too much of something to be used, especially money: Increases in wholesale oil prices have strained the company's finances.
(Definition of strain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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