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strain - definition and synonyms


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noun strain pronunciation in British English /streɪn/
Word Forms
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  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.
      mental pressure or worry
      under strain:

      Eleanor was feeling overworked and under strain.

    2. b.
      physical effort or pressure
      under strain:

      All that lifting is putting his back under severe strain.

  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] an injury caused by twisting or stretching a muscle too much

    a thigh strain

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

    a strain of human flu virus

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

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

  5. 5


    [plural] literary the sound of some music

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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an electric skateboard

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