The tendrils at the ends move with a life of their own, straining to be joined.
But when I got to college, I spent the first two years straining for financial independence.
I was nervous, popping Tums and straining to appear collected.
Still, one can easily envision hordes clutching their dog-eared paperbacks of Inferno straining to find the flag.
We hovered a dozen feet behind them, straining to overhear without being too obvious about it.
Plata has sighted him, and is straining every limb to reach the terrified bird.
Sidney, straining her ears, gathered that they had seen a miracle, and that the wonder was still on them.
She, while straining her ears to listen, therefore maintained an air of detachment.
Then suddenly she was in his arms, shaking and sobbing, straining him to her.
He did not understand fully from what depths of black anguish that look came, straining toward the light.
"to stretch, draw tight," c.1300, from present participle stem of Old French estreindre "bind tightly, clasp, squeeze," from Latin stringere (2) "bind or draw tight," from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (cf. Lithuanian stregti "congeal;" Greek strangein "twist;" Old High German strician "mends nets;" Old English streccian "to stretch," streng "string;" German stramm, Dutch stram "stiff"). Sense of "press through a filter" is from early 14c. (implied in strainer); that of "lay undue stress on, make a forced interpretation of" is from mid-15c. Related: Strained; straining.
"injury caused by straining," 1550s, from strain (v.). The meaning "passage of music" (1570s) probably developed from a verbal sense of "to tighten" the voice, originally the strings of a musical instrument (late 14c.).
"line of descent," Old English strion, streon "gain, begetting," from Proto-Germanic *streun- "to pile up," from PIE root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)). Applied to animal species first in c.1600.
strain 1 (strān)
v. strained, strain·ing, strains
To pull, draw, or stretch tight.
To stretch or exert one's muscles or nerves to the utmost.
To injure or impair by overuse or overexertion; wrench.
To filter, trickle, percolate, or ooze.
To pass a liquid through a filtering agent such as a strainer.
To draw off or remove by filtration.
The act of straining.
The state of being strained.
Extreme or laborious effort.
A great or excessive pressure, demand, or stress on one's body, mind, or resources.
A wrench, twist, or other physical injury resulting from excessive tension, effort, or use.
strain 2 (strān)
The collective descendants of a common ancestor; a race, stock, line, or breed.
Any of the various lines of ancestry united in an individual or a family; ancestry or lineage.
A group of organisms of the same species, having distinctive characteristics but not usually considered a separate breed or variety.
An artificial variety of a domestic animal or cultivated plant.