Definition for STRAIN

STRAIN, v.t. [Fr. etreindre; It. strignere; Sp. estreñir; L. stringo. This word retains its original signification, to stretch. Strain is the L. stringo, as straight is strictus, in different dialects.]

  1. To stretch; to draw with force; to extend with great effort; as, to strain a rope; to strain the shrouds of a ship; to strain the cords of an instrument.
  2. To cause to draw with force, or with excess of exertion; to injure by pressing with too much effort. He strained his horses or his oxen by overloading them.
  3. To stretch violently or by violent exertion; as, to strain the arm or the muscles.
  4. To put to the utmost strength. Men in desperate cases will strain themselves for relief.
  5. To press or cause to pass through some porous substance; to purify or separate from extraneous matter by filtration; to filter; as, to strain milk. Water may be strained through sand. – Bacon. Arbuthnot.
  6. To sprain; to injure by drawing or stretching. Prudes decay'd about may tack, / Strain their necks with looking back. – Swift.
  7. To make tighter; to cause to bind closer. To strain his fetters with a stricter care. – Dryden.
  8. To force; to constrain; to make uneasy or unnatural. His mirth is forced and strained. Denham.

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