Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

strain

 - definition
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun American English pronunciation: strain /streɪn/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularstrain
pluralstrains
 
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] pressure caused by a difficult situation
    a strain on something:

    This war will put a great strain on the economy.

    the strain of something:

    I can't take the strain of another move.

    1. a.
      physical effort or pressure
      under strain:

      All that lifting is putting his back under severe strain.

    2. b.
      mental pressure or worry
      under strain:

      Eleanor was feeling overworked and under strain.

  2. 3
    [countable] a particular type of animal, insect, or plant
    strain of:

    a strain of human flu virus

  3. 4
    [countable] a particular aspect of someone's character or feelings
    strain of:

    There's a strain of meanness that runs in their family.

property porn

a type of television programme, magazine article, etc which shows off desirable homes …

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

chimera

a plan or course of action that is not possible to achieve

Open Dictionary

flat design

a type of design used on the web which excludes features which give a three-dimensional effect … and uses simple styles

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog