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 as it is played or performed. (through the open windows came the strains of a hurdy-gurdy playing in the street)
    verb
    Force (a part of one's body or oneself) to make a strenuous or 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 breed, stock, or variety of an animal or plant developed by breeding.
    A particular tendency as part of a person's character. (there's a strain of Victorian rectitude in him)

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