"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.