strain
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /stɹeɪ̯n/
Noun

strain (plural strains)

  1. (obsolete) Treasure.
  2. (obsolete) The blood-vessel in the yolk of an egg.
  3. (archaic) Race; lineage, pedigree.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      He is of a noble strain.
    • With animals and plants a cross between different varieties, or between individuals of the same variety but of another strain, gives vigour and fertility to the offspring.
  4. Hereditary character, quality, or disposition.
    There is a strain of madness in her family.
    • Intemperance and lust breed diseases, which, propogated, spoil the strain of nation.
  5. A tendency or disposition.
  6. (literary) Any sustained note or movement; a song; a distinct portion of an ode or other poem; also, the pervading note, or burden, of a song, poem, oration, book, etc.; theme; motive; manner; style
  7. (biology) A particular breed or race of animal, microbe etc.
    They say this year's flu virus is a particularly virulent strain.
  8. (music) A portion of music divided off by a double bar; a complete musical period or sentence; a movement, or any rounded subdivision of a movement.
  9. (rare) A kind or sort (of person etc.).
    • the common strain
Translations Translations Translations Translations Related terms Verb

strain (strains, present participle straining; past and past participle strained)

  1. (obsolete) To hold tightly, to clasp.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.ii:
      So hauing said, her twixt her armes twaine / She straightly straynd, and colled tenderly [...].
    • Evander with a close embrace / Strained his departing friend.
    • 1859, Ferna Vale, Natalie; or, A Gem Among the Sea-Weeds
      "Farewell!"—the mother strained her child to her heart again, and again put her from her, to embrace her more closely.
  2. To apply a force or forces to by stretching out.
    to strain a rope; to strain the shrouds of a ship
    Relations between the United States and Guatemala traditionally have been close, although at times strained by human rights and civil/military issues.
  3. To damage by drawing, stretching, or the exertion of force.
    The gale strained the timbers of the ship.
  4. To act upon, in any way, so as to cause change of form or volume, as when bending a beam.
  5. To exert or struggle (to do something), especially to stretch (one's senses, faculties etc.) beyond what is normal or comfortable.
    Sitting in back, I strained to hear the speaker.
    • c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      To build his fortune I will strain a little.
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      He sweats, / Strains his young nerves.
    • They strain their warbling throats / To welcome in the spring.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      Thus my plight was evil indeed, for I had nothing now to burn to give me light, and knew that 'twas no use setting to grout till I could see to go about it. Moreover, the darkness was of that black kind that is never found beneath the open sky, no, not even on the darkest night, but lurks in close and covered places and strains the eyes in trying to see into it.
  6. To stretch beyond its proper limit; to do violence to, in terms of intent or meaning.
    to strain the law in order to convict an accused person
    • 1724, Jonathan Swift, Drapier's Letters, 4
      There can be no other meaning in this expression, however some may pretend to strain it.
  7. (transitive) To separate solid from liquid by passing through a strainer or colander
  8. (intransitive) To percolate; to be filtered.
    water straining through a sandy soil
  9. To make uneasy or unnatural; to produce with apparent effort; to force; to constrain.
    • He talks and plays with Fatima, but his mirth / Is forced and strained.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
      The quality of mercy is not strained.
  10. To urge with importunity; to press.
    to strain a petition or invitation
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      Note, if your lady strain his entertainment.
Translations Translations Translations Noun

strain

  1. The act of straining, or the state of being strained.
    • 1832, Charles Stewart Drewry (A.M.I.C.E.), A memoir on suspension bridges, page 183:
      If the Menai Bridge, for instance, were loaded at that rate, the entire strain on the main chains would be about 2000 tons ; while the chains containing 260 square inches of iron would bear, at 9 tons per square inch, 2340 tons, without stretching  ...
    • 2004, Sanjay Shrivastava, Medical Device Materials: Proceedings from the Materials & Processes for Medical Devices Conference 2003, 8-10 September 2003, Anaheim, California, ASM International (ISBN 9781615032600), page 176:
      Therefore, the goal of this study is to assess the influence of strain on the corrosion resistance of passivated Nitinol and stainless steel implant materials. Materials and Methods Nitinol (50.8%at. Ni) wire (NDC, Fremont, CA) and 316L stainless ...
  2. A violent effort; an excessive and hurtful exertion or tension, as of the muscles.
    he jumped up with a strain;   the strain upon the sailboat's rigging
  3. An injury resulting from violent effort; a sprain.
  4. (uncountable, engineering) A dimensionless measure of object deformation either referring to engineering strain or true strain.
  5. (obsolete) The track of a deer.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 145:
      When they have shot a Deere by land, they follow him like bloud-hounds by the bloud, and straine, and oftentimes so take them.
Translations Translations Translations Related terms Verb

strain (strains, present participle straining; past and past participle strained)

  1. (obsolete) To beget, generate (of light), engender, copulate (both of animals and humans), lie with, be born, come into the world.
    A man straineth, liveth, then dieth.
    Man, look at that cat straining that kitty.
    The sun straineth light. (approx.1225, Homily on the Creed in Cambridge)
    A wife he nam; a son on her he strained. (circa 1275, Layamon, The Brut)
    He shall strain on her a swith selely son. (circa 1275, Layamon, The Brut)
    Eadie is his spouse, whose maid-hood is unwemmed (unviolated), when he, on her, straineth. (circa1225, Hali Meidenhad - Holy Maiden-Hood)
    Our Drighten sent his high angel Gabriel to ..Zachariah.. to say that he should strain a holy child and clepe it John. (approx.1225, Homilies in Cambridge)
    Our healand was strained of the heavenly father ere then that heaven or earth shapen (formed) were. (approx.1225, Homilies in Cambridge)
    Naked they gan; nis there none of other agramed; ne for their nakedhood ashamed; without lust of sin they strain.
    Thy wife is thine alone, only thou mayest strain on her; no other man may strain on thy wife ne mayest thou strain on a wife of another.
    • 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
      Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel; our king has all the Indies in his arms, And more, and richer, when he strains that lady. I cannot blame his conscience.

Strain
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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