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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 periodicals archive ?
dry stools, straining to defecate, a sense of bowel obstruction or incomplete emptying, or needing assistance to empty your rectum.
"These cats are straining to defecate because of matted hair covering their anus, not because of any problem with their intestinal tract.
An 8-year-old mixed-breed mare from Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a one-month history of an enlargement in the left flank, decreased appetite, and straining to defecate was referred to a private veterinarian.
The owner reported that bird had been straining to defecate for 5 days and was uninterested in food.
The animal was anorectic from last two days and having history of gastritis, abdominal pain and straining to defecate. The prolapsed mass was cylindrical in appearance with the luminal opening at the end.
It was found that coffee consumption contributed 10.6 percent, vigorous physical exercise 7.9 percent, nose blowing 5.4 percent, sexual intercourse 4.3 percent, straining to defecate 3.6 percent, cola consumption 3.5 percent, being startled 2.7 percent, and being angry 1.3 percent.