strain1 [strān]
[ME streinen < OFr estraindre, to strain, wring hard < L stringere, to draw tight: see STRICT]
1. to draw or stretch tight
2. to exert, use, or tax to the utmost [to strain every nerve]
3. to overtax; injure by overexertion; wrench [to strain a muscle]
4. to injure or weaken by force, pressure, etc. [the wind strained the roof]
5. to stretch or force beyond the normal, customary, or legitimate limits [to strain a rule to one's own advantage]
6. to change the form or size of, by applying external force
a) to pass through a screen, sieve, filter, etc.; filter
b) to remove or free by filtration, etc.
8. to hug or embrace: now only in strain to one's bosom (or heart, etc.)
9. Obs. to force; constrain
1. to make violent or continual efforts; strive hard
2. to be or become strained
3. to be subjected to great stress or pressure
4. to pull or push with force
5. to filter, ooze, or trickle
6. [from a misunderstanding of “strain at a gnat” (Matt. 23:24)] to hesitate or be unwilling; balk ( at)
1. a straining or being strained
2. great effort, exertion, or tension
3. an injury to a part of the body as a result of great effort or overexertion [muscle strain]
a) change in form or size, or both, resulting from stress or force
b) stress or force
5. a great or excessive demand on one's emotions, resources, etc. [a strain on the imagination]
strain2 [strān]
[ME stren < OE streon, gain, procreation, stock, race < base strynan, streonan, to produce: for IE base see STREW]
1. Obs.
a) a begetting
b) offspring
2. ancestry; lineage; descent
3. the descendants of a common ancestor; race; stock; line; breed; variety
4. an inherited or natural characteristic or tendency
5. a trace; streak
6. the manner, style, or tone of a speech, book, action, etc. [to write in an angry strain]
7. [often pl.] a passage of music; tune; air
8. a passage of poetry, esp. of a lyric sort
9. a flight or outburst of eloquence, profanity, etc.
10. Taxonomy Genetics a line of individuals of a certain species or race, differentiated from the main group by certain qualities, often, specif., superior qualities resulting from artificial breeding

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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  • Strain — Strain, n. 1. The act of straining, or the state of being strained. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) A violent effort; an excessive and hurtful exertion or tension, as of the muscles; as, he lifted the weight with a strain; the strain upon a ship …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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