The Meaning of Strain: What It Is and How To Use It

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Do you know the difference between the different definitions of the word strain? How can you use the word strain as a noun, and how can you use it as a verb? In this article, we will define strain as our word of the day. 

Then, we’ll explore related topics to the definition of strain, such as etymology and example sentences. Don’t strain your eyes while reading this article!

What Does Strain Mean?

According to the Dictionary, strain has many potential meanings. The word strain can be used as a noun or as a verb in several different contexts. The pronunciation of strain is streɪn.

Strain as a Verb

First, the word strain is a verb that means to make a great effort, a violent effort, or an external force. It can also mean to pull, exert, or stretch something to its limits. Finally, strain can also refer to the act of filtering something, such as putting something through a strainer.

Strain as a Noun

The word strain can also be a noun. 

The word strain can refer to the act of straining. Additionally, a strain can be an injury to a part of the body due to overuse, overexertion, or physical effort. Finally, in physics, the word strain refers to a type of deformation. 

How do you tend to use the word strain in your daily life? Do you use it as a verb or as a noun more frequently? When using the word strain, make sure that the context is clear because strain has so many potential definitions. 

What Is the Etymology of Strain?

The word strain entered the English language in the mid to late 1200s. This word began as the Middle English streinen, from the Old English strēon. 

This Old English term comes from the  Old French estreindre and the Old High German language, from the Latin stringere and estrein.

How Can We Use Strain in a Sentence?

The word strain has many definitions that you can use in a sentence! Since the word strain has numerous meanings, ensure that you provide your reader or listener with the proper context so they can decipher what you mean by the word strain.

As you read the below example sentences, which contain the word strain, see if you can determine if the word strain is a noun or a verb. By the end of these examples, you won’t have to strain your brain figuring out what strain means!

Strain in a Sentence: Example 1

After months of great strain on his mental health, the worker finally reached a breaking point from his boss’ excessive demands. 

Question: Is strain a noun or a verb in the above sentence?

Answer: Strain is a noun.

Strain in a Sentence: Example 2

The scientists discovered a new strain of microorganisms that caused the disease.

Question: Is strain a noun or a verb in the above sentence?

Answer: Strain is a noun.

Strain in a Sentence: Example 3

After straining herself in the gym, the woman had a muscle strain in her hamstring.

Question: Is strain a noun or a verb in the above sentence?

Answer: Strain is a verb and a noun.

Strain in a Sentence: Example 4

The trainer tried to correct the dog straining on his leash.

Question: Is strain a noun or a verb in the above sentence?

Answer: Strain is a verb.

Strain in a Sentence: Example 5

The parents thought their child needed to learn the value of hard work and real strain, so they sent him to a military-style boot camp.

Question: Is strain a noun or a verb in the above sentence?

Answer: Strain is a noun.

Strain in a Sentence: Example 6

The people went through a strain of madness because of the faulty computer system.

Question: Is strain a noun or a verb in the above sentence?

Answer: Strain is a noun.

What Are Translations of Strain?

Nice Translator provides word lists like these translations of strain so you can communicate in other countries. 

  • Korean: 부담
  • Ukrainian: напруга
  • Bengali: স্ট্রেন
  • Danish: belastning
  • Hebrew: מתח
  • Filipino: pilay
  • Catalan: esforç
  • Swedish: anstränga
  • Thai: ความเครียด
  • Czech: kmen
  • Vietnamese: sự căng thẳng
  • Malayalam: അതിക്ലേശം
  • Icelandic: álag
  • Finnish: rasitus
  • Portuguese (Portugal): tensão
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 拉緊
  • Hungarian: feszültség
  • Telugu: జాతి
  • Urdu: تناؤ
  • Kannada: ಬ ೦ ದಿಸು
  • Bulgarian: напрежение
  • Basque: tentsio
  • Portuguese (Brazil): tensão
  • Japanese: 歪み
  • Malay: ketegangan
  • Lithuanian: įtempimas
  • Slovenian: obremenitev
  • Hindi: तनाव
  • Amharic: ውጥረት
  • Latvian: sasprindzināt
  • Dutch: deformatie
  • Estonian: tüvi
  • Chinese (PRC): 拉紧
  • Romanian: încordare
  • Tamil: திரிபு
  • Swahili: Shina
  • Norwegian: press
  • French: souche
  • German: Beanspruchung
  • Arabic: التواء
  • Indonesian: regangan
  • Turkish: Gerginlik
  • Welsh: hidlech
  • Italian: sforzo
  • Slovak: zaťaženie
  • Spanish: presion
  • Croatian: naprezanje
  • Greek: ένταση
  • Russian: напряжение
  • Gujarati: તાણ
  • Marathi: मानसिक ताण
  • Serbian: напрезање
  • Polish: napięcie

What Are Synonyms of Strain?

For words with the same meaning of strain, take a look at this list of synonyms of strain from Power Thesaurus.

  • balk
  • burden
  • deform
  • distort
  • distress
  • drain
  • effort
  • exertion
  • extend
  • extraction
  • filter
  • filtrate
  • force
  • form
  • kind
  • labor
  • line
  • load
  • melody
  • overburden
  • overload
  • overtax
  • overwork
  • pains
  • press
  • pressure
  • pull
  • push
  • sieve
  • sift
  • song
  • species
  • sprain
  • stock
  • straining
  • stress
  • stretch
  • strive
  • striving
  • struggle
  • tax
  • tenor
  • tense
  • tension
  • toil
  • trouble
  • try
  • tune
  • twist
  • variety
  • worry
  • wrench

What Are Antonyms of Strain?

Power Thesaurus also lists many antonyms of strain!

  • admit defeat
  • affection
  • aid
  • assurance
  • audacity
  • benefit
  • boldness
  • braveness
  • bravery
  • calm
  • calmness
  • catch one’s breath
  • certainty
  • comfort
  • composure
  • compress
  • concentrate
  • confidence
  • contentment
  • courage
  • daring
  • deal
  • decisiveness
  • determination
  • ease
  • encouragement
  • faith
  • fearlessness
  • health
  • no stress
  • opportunity
  • pack in
  • peace
  • poise
  • reassurance
  • relax
  • relaxation
  • relief
  • rest
  • self-assurance
  • self-assuredness
  • self-confidence
  • self-trust
  • serenity
  • sureness
  • tranquility
  • unconcern


Strain is both a noun and a verb. As a verb, to strain means to exert force to the utmost degree or with excessive effort. It can also mean to filter. As a noun, strain is force, pressure, filtration, or an injury caused by excess use.


Strain | Nice Translator 

Strain synonyms – 4 590 Words and Phrases for Strain | Power Thesaurus 

Strain antonyms – 729 Opposites of Strain | Power Thesaurus 

Strain Definition & Meaning | English Dictionary