strain

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strain
  • noun
    A force tending to pull or stretch something to an extreme or damaging degree. (the usual type of chair puts an enormous strain on the spine)
    A severe or excessive demand on the strength, resources, or abilities of someone or something. (the accusations put a strain on relations between the two countries)
    The sound of a piece of music. (the distant strains of the brass band grew louder)
    verb
    Force (a part of one's body or oneself) to make an unusually great effort. (I stopped and listened, straining my ears for any sound)
    Pour (a mainly liquid substance) through a porous or perforated device or material in order to separate out any solid matter. (strain the custard into a bowl)
  • noun
    A particular breed, stock, or variety of an animal or plant.
    A particular tendency as part of a person's character. (there's a strain of Victorian rectitude in him)

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