strain

The noun strain is a stretch, effort, or exertion — you can strain your ankle or patience.

This word has many, many meanings. Athletes strain their knees, which strains the emotions of their fans. Usually, you have to strain a little to accomplish anything, like getting an A in math. A strain may also be a line, like a line of ancestry, of thought, or a melodic line in music. Maybe you have to strain to hear the quiet flute in an orchestra. Another meaning is to pass something through a filter, like tea leaves.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: strain

1
vn
to exert much effort or energy
injury to a muscle (often caused by overuse); results in swelling and pain
2
vn
become stretched or tense or taut
(physics) deformation of a physical body under the action of applied forces
3
v
separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements
4
n
a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence
5
n
(biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups
6
n
the general meaning or substance of an utterance
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: strain
1

v to exert much effort or energy

straining our ears to hear”
Synonyms:
reach, strive
Types:
extend oneself
strain to the utmost
kill oneself, overexert oneself
strain oneself more than is healthy
bother, inconvenience oneself, trouble, trouble oneself
take the trouble to do something; concern oneself
Type of:
drive, labor, labour, push, tug
strive and make an effort to reach a goal

v use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity

“Don't strain your mind too much”
Synonyms:
extend
Types:
overextend, overstrain
strain excessively
task, tax
use to the limit
Type of:
apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose

v test the limits of

Synonyms:
stress, try
Types:
rack
stretch to the limits
Type of:
afflict
cause great unhappiness for; distress

n injury to a muscle (often caused by overuse); results in swelling and pain

Type of:
harm, hurt, injury, trauma
any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc.

n an effortful attempt to attain a goal

Synonyms:
nisus, pains, striving
Types:
jehad, jihad
a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal
Type of:
attempt, effort, endeavor, endeavour, try
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something

n an intense or violent exertion

Synonyms:
straining
Type of:
effort, elbow grease, exertion, sweat, travail
use of physical or mental energy; hard work
2

v become stretched or tense or taut

“" "the rope strained when the weight was attached”
Synonyms:
tense
Type of:
tighten
become tight or tighter

v alter the shape of (something) by stress

Synonyms:
deform, distort
Types:
jaundice
distort adversely
Type of:
form, shape
give shape or form to

v cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious

Synonyms:
tense, tense up
Antonyms:
loosen up, make relaxed, relax, unlax, unstrain, unwind
cause to feel relaxed
Types:
extend, stretch
extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body
spread-eagle
stretch out completely
crane, stretch out
stretch (the neck) so as to see better
Type of:
affect
act physically on; have an effect upon

n (physics) deformation of a physical body under the action of applied forces

Types:
overstrain
too much strain
Type of:
deformation
alteration in the shape or dimensions of an object as a result of the application of stress to it

n (psychology) nervousness resulting from mental stress

“his responsibilities were a constant strain
Synonyms:
mental strain, nervous strain
Types:
stress, tenseness, tension
(psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense
yips
nervous tension that causes an athlete to fail (especially causes golfers to miss short putts)
breaking point
(psychology) stress at which a person breaks down or a situation becomes crucial
Type of:
nerves, nervousness
an uneasy psychological state

n difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension

“she endured the stresses and strains of life”
Synonyms:
stress
Type of:
difficulty
a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome
3

v separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements

Synonyms:
sieve, sift
Types:
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rice
sieve so that it becomes the consistency of rice
resift
sift anew
riddle, screen
separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
fan, winnow
separate the chaff from by using air currents
Type of:
separate
divide into components or constituents

v remove by passing through a filter

Synonyms:
filter, filter out, filtrate, separate out
Type of:
separate
divide into components or constituents

v rub through a strainer or process in an electric blender

Synonyms:
puree
Type of:
rub
move over something with pressure
4

n a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence

Synonyms:
air, line, melodic line, melodic phrase, melody, tune
Types:
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fanfare, flourish, tucket
(music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments
glissando
a rapid series of ascending or descending notes on the musical scale
roulade
(music) an elaborate run of several notes sung to one syllable
leitmotif, leitmotiv
a melodic phrase that accompanies the reappearance of a person or situation (as in Wagner's operas)
theme song
a melody that recurs and comes to represent a musical play or movie
signature, signature tune, theme song
a melody used to identify a performer or a dance band or radio/tv program
idea, melodic theme, musical theme, theme
(music) melodic subject of a musical composition
part, voice
the melody carried by a particular voice or instrument in polyphonic music
slide, swoop
(music) rapid sliding up or down the musical scale
motif, motive
a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music
statement
(music) the presentation of a musical theme
variation
a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
primo
the principal part of a duet (especially a piano duet)
secondo
the second or lower part of a duet (especially a piano duet)
voice part
a part written for a singer
accompaniment, backup, musical accompaniment, support
a musical part (vocal or instrumental) that supports or provides background for other musical parts
bass, bass part
the lowest part in polyphonic music
Type of:
music
an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner

n the act of singing

Synonyms:
song
Types:
carol
a joyful song (usually celebrating the birth of Christ)
cradlesong, lullaby
the act of singing a quiet song to lull a child to sleep
Type of:
vocal music
music that is vocalized (as contrasted with instrumental music)
5

n (biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups

“a new strain of microorganisms”
Synonyms:
form, var., variant
Type of:
taxon, taxonomic category, taxonomic group
animal or plant group having natural relations

n a special variety of domesticated animals within a species

“he created a new strain of sheep”
Synonyms:
breed, stock
Types:
bloodstock
thoroughbred horses (collectively)
pedigree
line of descent of a purebred animal
Type of:
animal group
a group of animals
variety
(biology) a taxonomic category consisting of members of a species that differ from others of the same species in minor but heritable characteristics
6

n the general meaning or substance of an utterance

Synonyms:
tenor
Types:
drift, purport
the pervading meaning or tenor
Type of:
meaning, substance
the idea that is intended
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