strain

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.

Primary Meanings of strain

1.
vn
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 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