|Origin:||estraindre, from Latin stringere; STRINGENT|
to injure a muscle or part of your body by using it too much or making it work too hard:
I've strained a muscle in my leg
You'll strain your eyes trying to read in this light.
to try very hard to do something using all your strength or ability
effort[intransitive and transitive]
strain (something) to do something
She was straining to keep her head above the water.
Bill choked and gasped, straining for air.
strain your ears/eyes (=try very hard to hear or see)
I strained my ears, listening for any sound in the silence of the cave.
to separate solid things from a liquid by pouring the mixture through something with very small holes in it [↪ sieve]:
She strained the pasta.
to cause difficulties for something by making too much work or too many problems which it cannot deal with easily:
The increased costs will certainly strain our finances.
The incident has strained relations between the two countries.
I felt that my patience was being strained to the limit.
to pull hard at something or push hard against something
Buddy's huge gut strained against the buttons on his shirt.
a dog straining at its lead
to try as hard as possible to do something:
He was straining every nerve to impress the judges.
to be eager to be allowed to do something:
There are 30,000 troops in the area, all straining at the leash.
to not work too hard or do too much physical activity:
Don't strain yourself.