Other forms: strained; strains; straining

The noun strain is a stretch, effort, or exertion. You can strain your ankle, or your little brother can strain your 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.

Definitions of strain
  1. verb
    exert much effort or energy
    straining our ears to hear”
    synonyms: reach, strive
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    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
  2. verb
    use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity
    “Don't strain your mind too much”
    synonyms: extend
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    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
  3. verb
    test the limits of
    synonyms: stress, try
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    stretch to the limits
    type of:
    cause great unhappiness for; distress
  4. noun
    injury to a muscle (often caused by overuse); results in swelling and pain
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    type of:
    harm, hurt, injury, trauma
    any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc.
  5. noun
    an effortful attempt to attain a goal
    synonyms: nisus, pains, striving
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    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
  6. noun
    an intense or violent exertion
    synonyms: straining
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    type of:
    effort, elbow grease, exertion, sweat, travail
    use of physical or mental energy; hard work
  7. verb
    become stretched or tense or taut
    “" "the rope strained when the weight was attached”
    synonyms: tense
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    type of:
    become tight or tighter
  8. verb
    alter the shape of (something) by stress
    synonyms: deform, distort
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    distort adversely
    type of:
    form, shape
    give shape or form to
  9. verb
    cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious
    synonyms: tense, tense up
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    loosen up, make relaxed, relax, unlax, unstrain, unwind
    cause to feel relaxed
    extend, stretch
    extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body
    stretch out completely
    crane, stretch out
    stretch (the neck) so as to see better
    type of:
    act physically on; have an effect upon
  10. noun
    (physics) deformation of a physical body under the action of applied forces
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    too much strain
    type of:
    alteration in the shape or dimensions of an object as a result of the application of stress to it
  11. noun
    (psychology) nervousness resulting from mental stress
    “his responsibilities were a constant strain
    synonyms: mental strain, nervous strain
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    stress, tenseness, tension
    (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense
    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
  12. noun
    difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension
    “she endured the stresses and strains of life”
    synonyms: stress
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    type of:
    a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome
  13. verb
    separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements
    synonyms: sieve, sift
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    show 4 types...
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    sieve so that it becomes the consistency of rice
    sift anew
    riddle, screen
    separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
    fan, winnow
    separate the chaff from by using air currents
    type of:
    divide into components or constituents
  14. verb
    remove by passing through a filter
    synonyms: filter, filter out, filtrate, separate out
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    type of:
    divide into components or constituents
  15. verb
    rub through a strainer or process in an electric blender
    synonyms: puree
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    type of:
    move over something with pressure
  16. noun
    a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence
    synonyms: air, line, melodic line, melodic phrase, melody, tune
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    show 17 types...
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    fanfare, flourish, tucket
    (music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments
    a rapid series of ascending or descending notes on the musical scale
    (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
    (music) the presentation of a musical theme
    a repetition of a musical theme in which it is modified or embellished
    the principal part of a duet (especially a piano duet)
    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:
    an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
  17. noun
    the act of singing
    synonyms: song
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    a joyful song
    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)
  18. noun
    (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
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    type of:
    taxon, taxonomic category, taxonomic group
    animal or plant group having natural relations
  19. noun
    a special variety of domesticated animals within a species
    “he created a new strain of sheep”
    synonyms: breed, stock
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    thoroughbred horses (collectively)
    line of descent of a purebred animal
    type of:
    animal group
    a group of animals
    (biology) a taxonomic category consisting of members of a species that differ from others of the same species in minor but heritable characteristics
  20. noun
    the general meaning or substance of an utterance
    synonyms: tenor
    see moresee less
    drift, purport
    the pervading meaning or tenor
    type of:
    meaning, substance
    the idea that is intended




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