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Related to straining: constipation

strain 1

v. strained, strain·ing, strains
a. To pull, draw, or stretch tight: The heavy load strained the rope.
b. Physics To cause distortion of (a body's parts or shape) by applying an external force; deform.
2. To exert, use, or tax to the utmost: straining our ears to hear.
3. To injure or impair by overuse or overexertion; wrench: strain a muscle.
4. To damage or weaken by pressure or tension: winds that strained the mast.
5. To force beyond the proper or reasonable limit: an excuse that strains credulity.
a. To pass (a liquid) through a filtering agent such as a strainer.
b. To draw off or remove by filtration: strained the pulp from the juice.
7. Archaic To embrace or clasp tightly; hug.
a. To make strong or steady efforts; strive hard: straining to complete the coursework.
b. To contract or exert one's muscles to the utmost.
2. To pull or push forcibly or violently: The dog strained at its leash.
3. To be or become wrenched or twisted: the flagpole straining in the wind.
4. To be subjected to great stress: With such busy lives, the marriage can strain.
5. To pass through a filtering agent: The muddy water strains slowly.
a. The act of straining.
b. The state of being strained: the strain on the cable.
a. Extreme or laborious effort, exertion, or work: moved the sofa with little strain.
b. A great or excessive demand or stress on one's body, mind, or resources: the strain of managing both a family and a career.
c. The state of being subjected to such demands or stresses: trying to work under great strain.
3. A wrench, twist, or other physical injury resulting from excessive tension, effort, or use.
4. Physics Any of several kinds of deformation of the dimensions of a body when subjected to stress, as axial strain or elastic strain.
5. An exceptional degree or pitch: a strain of zealous idealism.
strain at stool
To have difficulty defecating.

[Middle English streinen, from Old French estreindre, estrein-, to bind tightly, from Latin stringere; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]

strain 2

1. Biology
a. A group of bacteria or viruses that are genetically distinct from other groups of the same species.
b. A group of cultivated plants or domestic animals of the same species that have distinctive characteristics but are not considered a separate breed or variety.
a. The collective descendants of a common ancestor; a race, stock, line, or breed.
b. Any of the various lines of ancestry united in an individual or a family; ancestry or lineage.
3. A kind or sort: imaginings of a morbid strain.
a. An inborn or inherited tendency or character: a strain of eccentricity in the family.
b. An inherent quality; a streak: "his upper-caste father, placid, inactive, with a strain of asceticism" (V.S. Naipaul).
5. The tone, tenor, or substance of a verbal utterance or of a particular action or behavior: spoke in a passionate strain.
6. often strains Music A passage of expression; a tune or an air: melodic strains of the violin.
a. A passage of poetic and especially lyrical expression.
b. An outburst or a flow of eloquent or impassioned language.

[Middle English strene, from Old English strēon, something gained, progeny; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.straining - an intense or violent exertionstraining - an intense or violent exertion  
elbow grease, exertion, effort, travail, sweat - use of physical or mental energy; hard work; "he got an A for effort"; "they managed only with great exertion"
2.straining - the act of distorting something so it seems to mean something it was not intended to mean
falsification, misrepresentation - a willful perversion of facts
Adj.1.straining - taxing to the utmoststraining - taxing to the utmost; testing powers of endurance; "his final, straining burst of speed"; "a strenuous task"; "your willingness after these six arduous days to remain here"- F.D.Roosevelt
effortful - requiring great physical effort
References in classic literature ?
The array of pots rather amazed her at first, but John was so fond of jelly, and the nice little jars would look so well on the top shelf, that Meg resolved to fill them all, and spend a long day picking, boiling, straining, and fussing over her jelly.
We sprang to our feet, straining our eyes toward it.
To these ardent and nearly innocent words Cora made no other answer than by straining the youthful speaker to her heart, as she bent over her in melting tenderness.
It sufficiently stuck out that, by tacit little tricks in which even more than myself he carried out the care for my dignity, I had had to appeal to him to let me off straining to meet him on the ground of his true capacity.
Nor can any son of mortal woman, for the first time, seat himself amid those hempen intricacies, and while straining his utmost at the oar, bethink him that at any unknown instant the harpoon may be darted, and all these horrible contortions be put in play like ringed lightnings; he cannot be thus circumstanced without a shudder that makes the very marrow in his bones to quiver in him like a shaken jelly.
Besides the soreness in my mouth, and the pain in my neck, it always made my windpipe feel bad, and if I had stopped there long I know it would have spoiled my breathing; but I grew more and more restless and irritable, I could not help it; and I began to snap and kick when any one came to harness me; for this the groom beat me, and one day, as they had just buckled us into the carriage, and were straining my head up with that rein, I began to plunge and kick with all my might.
One flight, two, three--and then there was a ladder to the roof, with a crowd packed at the foot of it, and one man at the top, straining and struggling to lift the trap door.
After various ineffectual pullings and twitchings, just as the senator is losing all patience, the carriage suddenly rights itself with a bounce,--two front wheels go down into another abyss, and senator, woman, and child, all tumble promiscuously on to the front seat,--senator's hat is jammed over his eyes and nose quite unceremoniously, and he considers himself fairly extinguished;--child cries, and Cudjoe on the outside delivers animated addresses to the horses, who are kicking, and floundering, and straining under repeated cracks of the whip.