Definitions for: Strain

[n] the act of singing; "with a shout and a song they marched up to the gates"
[n] an intense or violent exertion
[n] an effortful attempt to attain a goal
[n] a lineage or race of people
[n] pervading note of an utterance; "I could follow the general tenor of his argument"
[n] a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; "she was humming an air from Beethoven"
[n] a special kind of domesticated animals within a species; "he experimented on a particular breed of white rats"; "he created a new variety of sheep"
[n] (biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups; "a new strain of microorganisms"
[n] (physics) deformation of a physical body under the action of applied forces
[n] injury to a muscle (often caused by overuse); results in swelling and pain
[n] (psychology) nervousness resulting from mental stress; "his responsibilities were a constant strain"; "the mental strain of staying alert hour after hour was too much for him"
[n] difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension; "she endured the stresses and strains of life"; "he presided over the economy during the period of the greatest stress and danger"- R.J.Samuelson
[v] make tense
[v] to exert much effort or energy; "straining our ears to hear."
[v] alter the shape of (something) by stress; "His body was deformed by leprosy"
[v] use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity; "He really extended himself when he climbed Kilimanjaro"; "Don't strain your mind too much"
[v] rub through a strainer or process in an electric blender; "puree the vegetables for the baby"
[v] remove by passing through a filter; "filter out the impurities"
[v] separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements; "sift the flour"
[v] stretch or force to the limit; "strain the rope"
[v] test the limits of; "You are trying my patience!"

Webster (1913) Definition: Strain, n. (Hort.)
A cultural subvariety that is only slightly differentiated.

Strain, n. [See Strene.]
1. Race; stock; generation; descent; family.

He is of a noble strain. --Shak.

With animals and plants a cross between different
varieties, or between individuals of the same
variety but of another strain, gives vigor and
fertility to the offspring. --Darwin.

2. Hereditary character, quality, or disposition.

Intemperance and lust breed diseases, which,
propogated, spoil the strain of nation. --Tillotson.

3. Rank; a sort. ``The common strain.'' --Dryden.

Strain, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Strained; p. pr. & vb. n.
Straining.] [OF. estraindre, estreindre, F. ['e]treindre,
L. stringere to draw or bind tight; probably akin to Gr. ? a
halter, ? that which is squeezwd out, a drop, or perhaps to
E. strike. Cf. Strangle, Strike, Constrain, District,
Strait, a. Stress, Strict, Stringent.]
1. To draw with force; to extend with great effort; to
stretch; as, to strain a rope; to strain the shrouds of a
ship; to strain the cords of a musical instrument. ``To
strain his fetters with a stricter care.'' --Dryden.

2. (Mech.) To act upon, in any way, so as to cause change of
form or volume, as forces on a beam to bend it.

3. To exert to the utmost; to ply vigorously.

He sweats, Strains his young nerves. --Shak.

They strain their warbling throats To welcome in the
spring. --Dryden.

4. To stretch beyond its proper limit; to do violence to, in
the matter of intent or meaning; as, to strain the law in
order to convict an accused person.

There can be no other meaning in this expression,
however some may pretend to strain it. --Swift.

5. To injure by drawing, stretching, or the exertion of
force; as, the gale strained the timbers of the ship.

6. To injure in the muscles or joints by causing to make too
strong an effort; to harm by overexertion; to sprain; as,
to strain a horse by overloading; to strain the wrist; to
strain a muscle.

Prudes decayed about may track, Strain their necks
with looking back. --Swift.

7. To squeeze; to press closely.

Evander with a close embrace Strained his departing
friend. --Dryden.

8. 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. --Denham.

The quality of mercy is not strained. --Shak.

9. To urge with importunity; to press; as, to strain a
petition or invitation.

Note, if your lady strain his entertainment. --Shak.

10. To press, or cause to pass, through a strainer, as
through a screen, a cloth, or some porous substance; to
purify, or separate from extraneous or solid matter, by
filtration; to filter; as, to strain milk through cloth.

To strain a point, to make a special effort; especially, to
do a degree of violence to some principle or to one's own

To strain courtesy, to go beyond what courtesy requires; to
insist somewhat too much upon the precedence of others; --
often used ironically. --Shak.

Strain (str[=a]n), v. i.
1. To make violent efforts. ``Straining with too weak a
wing.'' --Pope.

To build his fortune I will strain a little. --Shak.

2. To percolate; to be filtered; as, water straining through
a sandy soil.

Strain, n.
1. The act of straining, or the state of being strained.
(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's rigging in a
gale; also, the hurt or injury resulting; a sprain.

Whether any poet of our country since
Shakespeare has exerted a greater variety of
powers with less strain and less ostentation.

Credit is gained by custom, and seldom recovers
a strain. --Sir W.
(b) (Mech. Physics) A change of form or dimensions of a
solid or liquid mass, produced by a stress. --Rankine.

2. (Mus.) 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.

Their heavenly harps a lower strain began. --Dryden.

3. 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; also, a course of action or
conduct; as, he spoke in a noble strain; there was a
strain of woe in his story; a strain of trickery appears
in his career. ``A strain of gallantry.'' --Sir W. Scott.

Such take too high a strain at first. --Bacon.

The genius and strain of the book of Proverbs.

It [Pilgrim's Progress] seems a novelty, and yet
contains Nothing but sound and honest gospel
strains. --Bunyan.

4. Turn; tendency; inborn disposition. Cf. 1st Strain.

Because heretics have a strain of madness, he
applied her with some corporal chastisements.

Synonyms: air, breed, breed, deform, distort, extend, filter, filter out, filtrate, form, line, melodic line, melodic phrase, melody, mental strain, nervous strain, nisus, pains, puree, reach, separate out, sieve, sift, song, stock, straining, stress, strive, striving, tenor, tense, tense, tense up, try, tune, var., variant, variety

Antonyms: loosen up, make relaxed, relax, unlax, unstrain, unwind

See Also: affect, afflict, ancestry, animal group, apply, aria, attempt, bloodstock, bother, carol, cradlesong, crick, deformation, derivation, difficulty, drift, drive, effort, elbow grease, employ, endeavor, endeavour, exertion, extend, extend oneself, fan, fanfare, filiation, flourish, form, glissando, harm, hurt, idea, inconvenience oneself, injury, jaundice, jitters, kill oneself, labor, labour, leitmotif, leitmotiv, lineage, lullaby, meaning, melodic theme, music, musical phrase, musical theme, nerves, nervousness, overexert oneself, overextend, overstrain, overstrain, overstrain, part, pedigree, phrase, pick over, purport, push, rack, resift, rice, riddle, roulade, rub, screaming meemies, screen, separate, shape, sieve out, signature, signature tune, species, stress, stretch, substance, sweat, task, tax, taxon, taxonomic group, tenseness, tension, theme, theme song, tighten, trauma, travail, trouble, trouble oneself, try, tug, use, utilise, utilize, vocal music, voice, winnow

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