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Definition of “strain” - English Dictionary

"strain" in American English

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strainnoun

 us   /streɪn/
  • strain noun (WORRY)

[C/U] something that ​causesanxiety, ​worry, or ​difficulty: [U] Loss of ​funding has put a lot of strain on the day-care ​center. [C] The ​benefits of ​keepingourdaughter at ​home make the strains of having only one ​incomeworthwhile.
  • strain noun (PRESSURE)

[U] physicalpressure: The ​bookcasecollapsed under the strain.
  • strain noun (INJURY)

[C] an ​injury caused by ​working the ​muscles too hard: Running puts a strain on ​yourheart.
  • strain noun (DIFFERENT TYPE)

[C] an ​animal or ​plant that is only ​slightly different from other ​animals or ​plants of the same ​type: A new strain of the ​virus has been ​found.
[C] A strain is also a ​quality that gives something a ​particularcharacter: There has ​long been a ​populist strain in American ​politics.
[C] A strain is also a ​particularsound: Strains of ​pianomusicdriftedacross the ​room.

strainverb

 us   /streɪn/
  • strain verb (SEPARATE)

[I/T] to ​separatesolidpieces from a ​liquid by ​pouring it through a ​utensil with ​smallholes at the ​bottom of it or through a ​cloth: [T] Strain the ​liquid and ​discard the ​vegetables.
  • strain verb (CAUSE WORRY)

[T] to ​causeanxiety or ​problems: This ​relationship has been strained ​almost to the ​breakingpoint. These ​extracosts have strained ​ourfinancialresources.
  • strain verb (CREATE PRESSURE)

[I] to ​createpressure or use ​effort: The ​dog strained at the ​leash, ​pulling his ​master along. [+ to infinitive] I had to strain to ​hear the ​audio.
  • strain verb (CAUSE INJURY)

[T] to ​cause an ​injury by ​working the ​muscles too hard: I strained my back ​carrying those ​boxes.
(Definition of strain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"strain" in British English

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strainnoun

uk   /streɪn/  us   /streɪn/
  • strain noun (PRESSURE)

B2 [C usually singular or U] a ​force or ​influence that ​stretches, ​pulls, or puts ​pressure on something, sometimes ​causingdamage: The ​hurricane put such a strain on the ​bridge that it ​collapsed. As you get ​older, ​excessweight puts a lot of strain on the ​heart. Their ​constantarguments were putting a strain ontheirmarriage. The ​recentdecline in the ​dollar has put abigger strain on the ​economicsystem. Migration into the ​cities is putting a strain on already ​stretchedresources.
C2 [C] an ​injury to a ​muscle or ​similarsoftpart of the ​bodycaused by using that ​part too much: a ​groin/​hamstring strain
See also
B2 [C or U] something that makes you ​feelnervous 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • strain noun (TYPE)

[C] a ​particulartype or ​quality: A strain ofpuritanismruns through all her ​work.
[C] an ​animal or ​plant from a ​particulargroup 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.

strainverb

uk   /streɪn/  us   /streɪn/
  • strain verb (SEPARATE)

[T] to ​separateliquidfood from ​solidfood, ​especially by ​pouring it through a utensil with ​smallholes in it: Could you strain the ​vegetables, ​please. The ​oil in which the ​fish is ​fried is strained off and used to ​cookpotatoes.
  • strain verb (PRESSURE)

B2 [I or T] to ​becomestretched or to ​experiencepressure, or to make something do or ​experience this: I've put on such a lot of ​weightrecently - this ​dress is straining at the ​seams. I strained a ​muscle in my back ​playingsquash. Don't ​watch TV in the ​dark - you'll strain ​your eyes! [+ to infinitive] figurative I really had to strain (= ​try very hard) toreach those ​topnotes.figurative I was straining (my ​ears) (= ​listening hard) to ​hear what they were saying.
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(Definition of strain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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