Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

strained

adjective
     
strained
1 a strained situation or behaviour is not relaxed, natural, or friendly [= tense]:
I couldn't stand the strained atmosphere at dinner any more.
the increasingly strained relations between the French and German governments
2 showing the effects of worry or too much work:
Nina's voice sounded strained.
Alex's pale, strained face

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