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Straining   /strˈeɪnɪŋ/   Listen
Straining

noun
1.
An intense or violent exertion.  Synonym: strain.
2.
The act of distorting something so it seems to mean something it was not intended to mean.  Synonyms: distortion, overrefinement, torture, twisting.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Straining" Quotes from Famous Books



... as to their legality or illegality. The government, therefore, were of opinion that if the several penal statutes already in force did not contain clear enactments against this offence, it was not proper for them to seek some meaning in the law, which would be construed by others into a straining of the provisions of the law, and make it doubtful whether they had not forced the meaning of an enactment, in order to procure a condemnation of the societies in question. Even if they could have ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... believe that any serious and prolonged impediment could be thrown in the way of his liberty. He would not believe that a man altogether innocent could be in danger of the gallows on a false accusation. It had seemed to him that the police had kept their hold on him with a rabid ferocity, straining every point with the view of showing that it was possible that he should have been the murderer. Every policeman who had been near him, carrying him backward and forward from his prison, or giving evidence as to the circumstances of the locality and ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... imparted to the body of Senor Hirsch, the well-known hide merchant on the coast. With a convulsive effort of the twisted arms it leaped up a few inches, curling upon itself like a fish on the end of a line. Senor Hirsch's head was flung back on his straining throat; his chin trembled. For a moment the rattle of his chattering teeth pervaded the vast, shadowy room, where the candles made a patch of light round the two flames burning side by side. And as Sotillo, ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... first ghostly light came stealing from the east. The blood began to leap once more in his veins. Already it was almost light enough to shoot. Then his straining eyes saw Bill ...
— The Snowshoe Trail • Edison Marshall

... neck. Proportions, 1 lb. of mutton to 1 quart of water, put the mutton and the water (cold) on the back of the stove, let it come slowly to a boil, boil until the meat is ready to fall from the bones. After straining out all the meat etc. add one tablespoonful of rice or barley. Simmer half an hour after adding rice ...
— Making Good On Private Duty • Harriet Camp Lounsbery

... without." While the curate hesitated, they heard a voice in the passage; and presently Houseman was seen at the far end, driving some women before him with vehement gesticulations. "I tell you, ye hell-hags," shrieked his harsh and now straining voice, "that ye suffered her to die! Why did ye not send to London for physicians? Am I not rich enough to buy my child's life at any price? By the living , I would have turned your very bodies into gold ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... promiscuous playing with other boys and girls for hours without supervision. It may also be produced by playful repose on the stomach, sliding down banisters, going too long without urinating, by constipation or straining at stool, irritant cutaneous affections, and rectal worms. Sliding down banisters, for instance, produces a titillation. The act may be repeated until inveterate masturbation results, even at an early age. Needless laving, handling and ...
— Sex - Avoided subjects Discussed in Plain English • Henry Stanton

... keep it long, I reckon, ma'am," said Tucker, in his pleasant manner; "and I must say it seems to me that Bill Fletcher is straining at a gnat. Why, he has near two thousand acres, hasn't he? And what under heaven does he want with that old field the sheep have nibbled bare? ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... the ranch-house. Bullet after bullet pitilessly led the escaping wretch. Death dogged every eager footfall. Suddenly de Spain jerked the rifle from his cheek, threw back his head, and swept his left hand across his straining eyes. Once more the rifle came up to place and, waiting for a heartbeat, to press the trigger, he paused an instant. Flame shot again in the gray morning light from the hot muzzle. The rifle fell away from the shoulder. The black ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... tree has not its root in English ground from which the yard wand can be made that will measure—the mine has not its place in English soil that will supply the material of a pair of scales to weigh the influence that may be at stake in the war in which we are now straining all our energies. That war is, at any time and in any shape, a most dreadful and deplorable calamity, we need no proverb to tell us; but it is just because it is such a calamity, and because that calamity must not for ever be impending ...
— Speeches: Literary and Social • Charles Dickens

... awhile we remained locked in a deadly embrace, swaying to and fro, and each straining for the momentary advantage that would have brought the affair to a ...
— The Uttermost Farthing - A Savant's Vendetta • R. Austin Freeman

... ceased, and the battle was concluded. Waggons with Red Cross flags fluttering from the tall staffs above them, issued from the mountains and rumbled through the valleys. Burghers dashed over the field in search of the wounded and dying. Men who a few moments before were straining every nerve to kill their fellow-beings became equally energetic to preserve lives. Wounded soldiers and burghers were lifted out of the grass and carried tenderly to the ambulance waggons. The dead were placed side by ...
— With the Boer Forces • Howard C. Hillegas

... not for hunger's sake, but of what they ate they remembered nothing who were watching Sinan and straining their ears to catch all he said without seeming to take note or listen. Although she strove to hide it and to appear indifferent, it was plain to them that Rosamund was much afraid. Again and again Sinan presented to her choice morsels of food, sometimes on the dishes ...
— The Brethren • H. Rider Haggard

... level of the water in Hudson Bay rose fully nine feet. Consternation reigned this morning when ship-owners found their wharves inundated, and vessels straining at short cables. The ice-breaker "Victoria" was lifted on the back of a sandy bar, having apparently been driven by a heavy wave, which must have come from the East. There are other indications that the mysterious rise began with a "bore" from the eastward. It is ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... Lida and walked up the shore alone. No one stayed him. The girl locked together her trembling fingers, straining her ...
— Joan of Arc of the North Woods • Holman Day

... in two or three quarts of water, according to the quantity of meat, &c. It must be seasoned highly with whole peppers, allspice, mace, Jamaica pickles, and salt; it must be thoroughly stewed, and served, without straining, in ...
— The Jewish Manual • Judith Cohen Montefiore

... in the Canticles is characterised as a private person, a shepherdess, one that kept a vineyard, and was ill used by her mother's children, all which will agree very well with somebody else, but cannot, without great straining, be drawn to fit the Egyptian Princess. He then proceeds, 'seeing we have so good reason to conclude that it was not Pharaoh's daughter, we will next endeavour to shew who she was: and here we are destitute of all manner of light, but what is afforded us by ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753),Vol. V. • Theophilus Cibber

... to have thus become a plaything. Yet he had, and now the mistake was too late to mend. He had left Natalie alone on the cliff, and then blindly permitted this chit to lead him straight into Hobart's set trap. Angered beyond control at the memory, West swore, straining fiercely in the vain endeavour to release his arms. Then, realizing his utter helplessness, he sank back on the floor, and ...
— The Case and The Girl • Randall Parrish

... bided his time; and he would not have been human if he had not now taken secret satisfaction, seeing his father's anxiety daily increase as the August sun grew hotter and hotter, and the grain rattled in the husks waiting to be reaped, while they two, straining their arms to the utmost, and in long days' work, seemed to produce small ...
— Between Whiles • Helen Hunt Jackson

... of the largest sails, and a couple of a smaller size. These I carried to the wood, and tried them in several places to see where they might be disposed to most advantage in the nature of a tent, and having found a convenient spot to my purpose, I cut divers poles for supporters, and making straining lines of my matweed, I pitched a noble one, sufficient to cover or entertain a numerous company, and so tight everywhere as to keep out the weather. The front of this new apartment I hung with blue cloth, which had a very genteel effect. I had almost forgotten to tell you that I contrived ...
— Life And Adventures Of Peter Wilkins, Vol. I. (of II.) • Robert Paltock

... cat-boat, anchored fifty yards out and straining back from her moorings, would not allow herself to be approached. For although Aladdin maintained a proper direction (at times), the ocean tide, setting rigidly in and overbearing the current of the river, was beginning to carry the skiff to some haven where ...
— Aladdin O'Brien • Gouverneur Morris

... is bad. Russia is straining every nerve to raise an army to oppose the encircling White Guards. That the army is efficient is demonstrated by the present location of Soviet forces who have contended with the Russian White Guard supported by enormous sums of money, munitions, and even soldiers from the Allies. ...
— The Bullitt Mission to Russia • William C. Bullitt

... hardly finished, her eyes were straining into the mirror, where, as may be supposed, nothing appeared but the sparkle of the drops from her own tresses, when she heard rattling down the pebbles the hasty feet of men ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... fishing-smacks; one shrieking infant was being passed, gayly, from the poop of a distant deck, across the closely lying shipping, to the quay's steps, to be hushed by the generous opening of a peasant mother's bodice. One could hear the straining of cordage, the creak of masts, the flap of the sails, all the noises peculiar to shipping riding at anchor. The shriek of steam-whistles broke out, ever and anon, above all the din and uproar. Along the quay steps and the wharves there were constantly forming and ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... The ship was straining forward now under the pull of its molecular motion power units, accelerating at a steady rate, rapidly increasing the distance between the ship ...
— Islands of Space • John W Campbell

... to the mental response to the external stimulus, there was a phantasy representing an imaginary wish-fulfilment: namely the desire to forsake the study of histology, with the eye-straining search through the microscope, in favor of the study ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... Amelie, straining her nerves to the tension of steel to preserve her composure, "Colonel Philibert is most welcome; he has never been forgotten in this house." She glanced at her aunt, who smiled approvingly at ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... a teller that would please, should not stretch his tale too long, and truly this tale is so various and so high that it needs no straining. Then let me shortly tell how Rohalt himself, after long wandering by sea and land, came into Cornwall, and found Tristan, and showing the King the carbuncle that once was ...
— The Romance Of Tristan And Iseult • M. Joseph Bedier

... crimson faces and open mouths cursing the traitorous Papist and the crafty vagrant fox trapped at last; but between them, looking over their shoulders, was a woman's face in which Anthony saw the most intense struggle of emotions. The face was quite white, the lips parted, the eyes straining, and sorrow and compassion were in every line, as she watched the cheerful priest among his warders; and yet there rested on it, too, a strange light as of triumph. It was the face of one who sees victory even at the hour of supremest failure. In an instant more ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... come here," exclaimed Miss Ruth in agony, for I was standing still straining my eyes over the beach to catch a glimpse of them. "I am afraid I was very wrong to send you out, and Giles will be here presently, and Dorcas says Dot's hat is missing from the peg, and Flurry's sealskin hat ...
— Esther - A Book for Girls • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... them slowly between thumb and forefinger—his features as immobile as a death-mask. A blue-eyed, blond German officer, with a decoration on the lapel of his coat, nonchalantly twirled his mustache, his shoulders straining in tension. A Parisienne, with bleached hair and penciled eyebrows, leaned over her companion's arm. There was also a flashily dressed negro, evidently a Haytian, who sat motionless at the far end, as stolid as a boiler, only the steam-gauge ...
— A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others • F. Hopkinson Smith

... them but as it seems to be only a question of a few dollars it will come out all right. We expect to be back here on Sunday but may stay out later. Don't worry if you don't hear. It is grand to see the line of battleships five miles out like dogs in a leash puffing and straining. Thank God they'll let them slip any minute now. I don't know where "Stenie" is. I am now going to take a nap while the smooth ...
— Adventures and Letters • Richard Harding Davis

... was straining every nerve to prevent the Federalists from indorsing the man who stood in the way of his own ambition and whom he believed to be a dangerous and unprincipled character. Some vestige of prudence kept the party from committing itself openly to ...
— Union and Democracy • Allen Johnson

... suddenly eager to see it; it was a friendly and thrilling sound in all that stillness. Oh, it was coming lower—lower still—she could hear the throb of the propellers clearly. Where was it? Behind those trees, perhaps? She raced up the flight of steps, dashing the treacherous tears from her eyes, straining up on impatient tiptoes. Surely she could see it now! But already it was growing fainter—drifting steadily away, the distant hum growing lighter ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 • Various

... and moved a step or two towards the door. The storm was gathering fresh force, and heavy rain pattered against the windows making a continuous steely sound like the clashing of swords. Straining his ears to close attention, he waited,—and all at once as he stood in suspense and something of fear, a plaintive sobbing wail crept thinly above the noise ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... confidence in Baker's coat. Ah, here it is! Saved! Saved!" He takes the garment from Bella at the threshold. "Now, then, the great thing is to get Merrick's coat off in one piece. I thought I heard a ripping sound in the back of it when you were straining at that drawer. But I guess it was merely fancy. Easy, easy!" He helps Roberts get the coat off, and ...
— Evening Dress - Farce • W. D. Howells

... for a debt of which there was no written evidence, the plaintiff, when asked what he had to show for it, always answered "good suit," and tendered his witnesses, who were sometimes examined by the court. /3/ I think it is not straining the evidence to infer that the "good suit" of the later reports was the descendant of the Saxon transaction witnesses, as it has been shown that Glanvill's secta ...
— The Common Law • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

... authorities in Washington were straining every nerve to rescue the beleaguered army. Sixteen thousand men under General Hooker were rushed to its relief, provisions were forwarded within a day's march of the town, awaiting the opening of new roads, and finally, when the stream of frantic telegrams from ...
— On the Trail of Grant and Lee • Frederick Trevor Hill

... in common with scores of others, were straining forward to watch every detail of the task. They wanted to see whether the locomotive would take to the rails, or slip off the inclined irons, and again settle ...
— The Motor Boys on the Pacific • Clarence Young

... tree. Very quietly Rome crawled back to the face of the cliff behind him, and crouched behind a rock with his cocked rifle across his knees. The man must climb over the ledge; there would be a bare, level floor of rock between them-the Lewallen would be at his mercy—and Rome, with straining eyes, waited. There was a footfall on the other side of the ledge; a soft clink of metal against stone. The Lewallen was climbing slowly-slowly. Rome could hear his heavy breathing. A grimy hand slipped over the sharp comb of the ledge; another appeared, clinched about a Winchester—then ...
— A Cumberland Vendetta • John Fox, Jr.

... late upon Mr. Gawden's accounts, Sir J. Minnes being gone home sick. I late at the office, and then home to supper and to bed, being mightily troubled with a pain in the small of my back, through cold, or (which I think most true) my straining last night to get open my plate chest, in such pain all night I could not turn myself in my bed. Newes this day from Brampton, of Mr. Ensum, my sister's ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... under his macintosh till his helmet became pulp on his head, and his boots were over-ankle in mire. He took no count of time, for the river was marking the hours, inch by inch and foot by foot, along the embankment, and he listened, numb and hungry, to the straining of the stone-boats, the hollow thunder under the piers, and the hundred noises that make the full note of a flood. Once a dripping servant brought him food, but he could not eat; and once he thought that he heard a faint ...
— The Day's Work, Volume 1 • Rudyard Kipling

... savage delight. With the calmness of despair, he yet resolved to have one more try for it; and scrambling over the horse's head, gained firm land, and tugged at the bridle. The poor nag replied with all his power to the call upon his courage, and reared his forefeet out of the slough, and with straining eyeballs gazed at him. "Now," said Jeremy, "now, my fine fellow!" lifting him with the bridle, and the brave beast gathered the roll of his loins, and sprang from his quagmired haunches. One more spring, and he was on ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... the time of the initial rise of temperature, or in less severe cases, and especially when the lesions of the digestive tract are not so marked, the appetite may remain until the disease is well advanced. Constipation is quite common at the commencement of the attack, followed by diarrhea and severe straining, the evacuations becoming very soft, fetid, and streaked with blood. Cases of the evacuation of desquamated patches of diphtheritic membrane from the intestinal mucosa 6 to 9 feet in length have been reported. The kidneys and bladder are usually inflamed, the urine being voided with ...
— Special Report on Diseases of Cattle • U.S. Department of Agriculture

... carefully; for he lays great importance on the cleanness of his cup; but he forgets to clean the inside. Most people drink from the inside, but the Pharisee forgot it, dirty as it was, and left it untouched. Then he sets about straining what he is going to drink—another elaborate process; he holds a piece of muslin over the cup and pours with care; he pauses—he sees a mosquito; he has caught it in time and flicks it away; he is safe and he will not swallow it. And then, adds Jesus, he swallowed a camel. How many of us ...
— The Jesus of History • T. R. Glover

... We must join the emigrants and follow them into the city. These are the only people who are finding America to-day. We must take up life among them; work as they work; live as they live. Why, I feel my back muscles straining even now; I feel the tingle of coming down the gangplank with our fortunes yet to make in this land of opportunity. Pasquale has done it; Murphy has done it. Don't you think I ...
— One Way Out - A Middle-class New-Englander Emigrates to America • William Carleton

... Jimmy's swimming brain, as thunder relieves the tense and straining air. The feeling that he was going mad left him, as the simple solution of his mystery came to him. This girl must have heard of him in New York—perhaps she knew people whom he knew and it was on hearsay, ...
— Piccadilly Jim • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... was lost in the noise of the band. The great whistle on the fabricating-plant split the air. The moving-picture camera-men cranked their machines. The last inches of the timbers that held the ship ashore were gnawed through. The sawyers said they could feel the ship straining. She wanted to get to her sea. They ...
— The Cup of Fury - A Novel of Cities and Shipyards • Rupert Hughes

... This was a custom he had some time before instituted, and I was finding it increasingly interesting. He selected my course of reading, and a very strong bill of fare I was finding it, some of the passages straining my utmost power of brain to comprehend. He had, as yet, confined me chiefly to German literature, mainly Kant and Lessing, with a dip into Schiller now and then, he said, by way of relaxation. He seemed gratified at the interest I took in his efforts to develop my intellectual ...
— Medoline Selwyn's Work • Mrs. J. J. Colter

... we were all hungry and tired, and the large black-tail deer hanging in the corner of his cabin told only too well that venison was in the larder. Our horses were soon picketed, the packs stored away, and we were all straining our eyes to see the ...
— The Sheep Eaters • William Alonzo Allen

... was now straining and pulling at her cables. Fortunately they were long enough to enable her to rise on the flood of the rushing water, or she might have been held down, and so overwhelmed. But she rose like a cork, though she plunged and swayed under the ...
— The Moving Picture Boys at Panama - Stirring Adventures Along the Great Canal • Victor Appleton

... to the danger point. The walls seemed to bulge outward with the pressure of the room, the aluminite braces straining and creaking. And our heat was radiating away; the deadly chill of ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930 • Various

... them; but long it will not be before every citizen's daughter and every female servant, will have them!" Such in all times has been the rise and decline of fashion; and the absurd mimicry of the citizens, even of the lowest classes, to their very ruin, in straining to rival the newest fashion, has ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... with large and small fragments of rock, which were constantly giving away, rendering the footing very insecure. That part to me was two hours of painful and unwilling submission to the inevitable; of trembling, slipping, straining, of smooth ice appearing when it was least expected, and of weak entreaties to be left behind while the others went on. "Jim" always said that there was no danger, that there was only a short bad bit ahead, and that I should go up even if he ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... long fight began, heaving and straining and splitting and scattering and narrowing and broadening along the red, wet sands, and over and between the tangled tree-roots, and through and among the bushes, and in and out of the grass clumps; for even now the dholes were two to one. But they met wolves fighting ...
— The Second Jungle Book • Rudyard Kipling

... echoes had died away. Then he ran a few steps, bent double, and stretched out his hands. Once more, for the last time, that devil's cry broke the deep stillness of the August morning, throbbing a little as though with a new fear, dying away as though the fingers which crushed it back down the straining throat had indeed crushed with it the last flicker of ...
— The Great Impersonation • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... of one smooth, juicy lemon, and squeeze out the juice, straining it on the rind. Put one cup of sugar and a piece of butter the size of an egg in a bowl, and one good-sized cupful of boiling water into a pan on the stove. Moisten a tablespoonful of corn starch, and stir it into the water; ...
— Recipes Tried and True • the Ladies' Aid Society

... of his hands clamped down over her mouth, the other went round her waist and drew the slim body to him. She fought, straining from him, throwing back her head in another lifted shriek ...
— Man Size • William MacLeod Raine

... taut enough halter to lean on in the tight places. But others rolled over like logs when the full force of the current struck them, threatening to drag the boat under, as it and the horse raced away down stream with the oarsmen straining their utmost. ...
— We of the Never-Never • Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn

... The steady straining of the donkey's muscles seemed to say that, to whatever station in life it pleased Providence to call him, he ...
— Daphne, An Autumn Pastoral • Margaret Pollock Sherwood

... with both Hands, so quit it with the Right, and with the Left turn the Head backwards, the Spear even with the Rear; so with your Right-hand seize it again as high as you can reach with little straining, and stand with it from your Body aslope; bring up your Right-leg, and then forsake your Pike with your Left-hand, and lay it on your Shoulder, ever keeping the Spear in a direct Point to the Rear, not crossing ...
— The School of Recreation (1696 edition) • Robert Howlett

... out of sight, and Sir Bedivere stood straining his eyes after it till it had vanished utterly. Then he turned him about and journeyed through the forest until, at daybreak, he reached a hermitage. Entering it, he prayed the holy hermit that he might abide with him, and there he spent the rest of his ...
— Heroes Every Child Should Know • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... all sound as they walked upon it—and they seemed to be walking on interminably. It was too far—much too far! She felt her nerve failing her. She looked behind her again. That opening, still discernible to her straining eyes, beckoned ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... still seated in the chair, straining over the table with bowed head, and humped back, and long fantastic arms. Had it not been for the red jagged tear in the neck, and the clotted black pool that was slowly widening on the table, one would have said that the man was ...
— The Picture of Dorian Gray • Oscar Wilde

... enough; but the bullets were dangerous, and they came now pretty rapidly from all round, striking with a vicious phit! which was terribly straining to the nerves. And all the time the heat of the sun grew more painful. There was not a breath of air; and the pull's of smoke when the enemy fired looked dim and distant, as if seen ...
— The Kopje Garrison - A Story of the Boer War • George Manville Fenn

... mortifications awaited him. The appointment during his absence of Robert Cecil to the office of secretary of state, instead of Thomas Bodley, afterwards the founder of the library which preserves his name,—for whom, since he had found the restoration of Davison hopeless, Essex had been straining every nerve to procure it,—gave him ample warning of all the counteraction on other points which he was doomed to experience; and was in fact the circumstance which finally established the ascendency of his adversaries: ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... that steers by this unfading star Needs never other compass. All the far, Wide waste shall blaze with guiding light, though rocks And sirens meet and mock its straining gaze. Secure from storms and all Life's battle-shocks It shall not veer from any ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... reasoned thus, he would find himself hurrying along the avenue or in the Park, straining his eyes to see if he could distinguish her among the crowd of walkers and loungers that thronged the sidewalk or the foot-path a quarter of a mile away. And if he could not, he was conscious of disappointment; and if he did distinguish her, his ...
— Gordon Keith • Thomas Nelson Page

... and Anstey were likewise soon straining themselves in the "brace" attitude. And mighty funny these four hapless plebes looked as they stood thus, wondering when the hazers would let up on them. But Yearlings Pratt and Judson looked on grimly, warning any plebe as often as the offender showed a disposition ...
— Dick Prescott's First Year at West Point • H. Irving Hancock

... After straining my jaws, doing violence to my tongue, and racking my throat, I have acquired a working knowledge of the Kelantan patois, and can now understand and speak it almost as easily as I do the more refined dialects. This has helped me to, in some degree, understand the ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... known how to rest content with the spirit of a rule and a faith that were practical. A wonderful genius, discovering by flashes, and as if by instinct, the most profound truths of human nature, and giving them expression in an incomparable style, forcing, straining the language to make it render his idea, darting at one bound to the sublimest height by use of the simplest terms, which he, so to speak, bore away with him, wresting them from their natural and proper signification. ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... straining her eyes at the barrier of gloom that rose a few yards ahead. And out of it kept springing faint grotesque shapes that changed themselves slowly, resolving into dim rocks and bushes, telegraph poles and high embankments, finally melting away behind ...
— Every Man for Himself • Hopkins Moorhouse

... placed in their summer quarters directly after potting. Stand them in rows in a sunny situation, the pots clear of one another, sufficient room being allowed between the rows for the cultivator to move freely among them. The main stakes are tied to rough trellis made by straining wire in two rows about 2 ft. apart between upright poles driven into the ground. Coarse coal ashes or coke breeze are the best materials to stand the pots on, there being little risk of worms working through into the ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati" • Various

... the same perceptive, emotional temperament as the Celt; but he adds to this temperament the sense of MEASURE; hence his admirable success in the plastic arts, in which the Celtic genius, with its chafing against the despotism of fact, its perpetual straining after mere emotion, has accomplished nothing. In the comparatively petty art of ornamentation, in rings, brooches, crosiers, relic-cases, and so on, he has done just enough to show his delicacy of taste, his happy temperament; but the grand difficulties ...
— Celtic Literature • Matthew Arnold

... be led thereto by grace; and, namely, to such works the which in themself are indifferent, that is to say, now good, and now evil, now with thee, now against thee, now helping, and now letting. For it might befall that, if thou followed thy singular stirring, straitly straining thee to silence, to singular fasting, or to only woning, that thou shouldest oft times be still when time were to speak, oft times fast when time were to eat, oft times be only when time were to be in company. Or if thou give thee to ...
— The Cell of Self-Knowledge - Seven Early English Mystical Treaties • Various

... Viceroy of Italy) "contradict the newspaper rumours of war, but make fun of them.... Austria's actions are probably the result of fear."—Thus, even when the eastern horizon lowered threateningly with clouds, he continued to pace the cliffs of Boulogne, or gallop restlessly along the strand, straining his gaze westward to catch the first glimpse of his armada. That horizon was never to be flecked with Villeneuve's sails: they were at this time furled ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... thrown off in composers' relatively easy-going moods, and an isolated figure or two of serious revolt, like Berlioz and Liszt—but they only serve to prove the rule. Now, this identification is far from holding good. More consciously than ever before, instrumental music is straining beyond its own special domain and asking for external spurs to creative activity. And it asks in various quarters. It may ask merely the hint of particular emotional moods conditioned by special circumstances; or it may vie with the poet and the novelist in analysis of character. ...
— Recent Developments in European Thought • Various

... see—it's a winter day in New York City, after four years. The streets are crowded. Here are men and women, but I see only the horses,—you know, sir, how I love them. They go by with heavy truck and cab, steaming, straining', slipping in the deep snow. You hear the song of lashes, the whack of whips, and, now and then, the shout of some bedevilled voice. Horses fall, and struggle, and lie helpless, and their drivers—well, if I were to watch them ...
— Darrel of the Blessed Isles • Irving Bacheller

... Clinch, found that I had some knowledge of arithmetic and accounts, he used to set me at work on his bills, to see if they were cast up correctly. This experience had prepared me for precisely the ordeal I was at present undergoing. I wrote the bill as handsomely as I could, though without straining over it, and figured up the prices, extending them and adding them. The examiner seemed to be very much pleased, and wanted to know where I had learned so much about the lumber business. I explained, and told him I had used about all my evenings ...
— Desk and Debit - or, The Catastrophes of a Clerk • Oliver Optic

... yes, one may twist it into something like that without straining it unduly, I think. My mother and I shall be very glad to see you. I'm sorry she is not here ...
— Jason • Justus Miles Forman

... to a general who approached him, and began explaining the whole position of our troops. Pierre listened to him, straining each faculty to understand the essential points of the impending battle, but was mortified to feel that his mental capacity was inadequate for the task. He could make nothing of it. Bennigsen stopped speaking and, noticing that Pierre was listening, ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... went into the house, shaken to her inmost soul. More than ever, she felt the chains that bound her. Straining against her bonds, she felt them cutting deep into her flesh. Anthony Dexter had bound her; he alone could set her free. From this there seemed ...
— A Spinner in the Sun • Myrtle Reed

... in to the shore, straining his eyes to see. It occurred to him that it might be a lady's maid brought by a guest, who had been out for a walk, and missed her way home in a strange park. "Do you want to get to the house? I can put you across to it ...
— Helena • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... read the "Works of Margaret Fuller":—"Life Within and Without," "At Home and Abroad," "Woman in the Nineteenth Century," "Art, Literature, and Drama,"—he would be prepared to find eccentricities of style, straining for effect, mystical utterances, attempts at profundity, and stilted commonplace. He would, however, find nothing of this sort, or of any sort of make believe, but simply a writer always in earnest, always convinced, with a fair English style, perfectly intelligible, intent ...
— Daughters of the Puritans - A Group of Brief Biographies • Seth Curtis Beach

... fashion of the day, and a fashion that will hold its power of pleasing for half a century, but it will be a fashion. Mannerisms of course will not deceive us, nor extravagances, eccentricities, affectations, nor the straining after effect by the use of coined or far-fetched words and prodigality in adjectives. But, style? Yes, there is such a thing as style, good and bad; and the style should be the writer's own and characteristic of him, as his speech is. But the moment I admire a style for its own sake, ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... kept ahead, and the seamen were constantly in the fore-top straining their eyes in expectation of catching sight of her white canvas. Every port was narrowly scanned on the chance of her having put in there. When the wind fell, the crew eagerly leapt into the boats to pull ahead. When there was a breeze every inch of canvas the ship could ...
— Notable Voyagers - From Columbus to Nordenskiold • W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

... laughed to see Donald's awkward position—to see him hanging over the water, red-faced and straining. Donald laughed, too. At once he lost his balance ...
— Billy Topsail & Company - A Story for Boys • Norman Duncan

... are seated at the round table, with eager faces and straining eyes watching the chances of the game. One of the guests is among them, a man with black moustaches and rather foreign appearance, a billiard-room acquaintance of the flushed youth; a capital fellow, they said, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 385. November, 1847. • Various

... Durant got out of Polly was the privilege of driving her home, through mud and rain, at a melancholy trot. True, he was in no hurry to get back; so he let her take her own pace, in pity for her trembling limbs and straining heart. Polly had done all she knew for her mistress in that frantic dash for freedom and the express; and, when he thought of what Frida Tancred's life had been, he guessed that the little animal was used to carrying her through worse ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair

... was letting my animal have its head, so I would slacken all moral reins, and let my life run uncontrolled. There was not more beauty in things than ugliness, nor more happiness in life than pain. Have done with this straining after ideals!... The ...
— Tell England - A Study in a Generation • Ernest Raymond

... her chances of getting out that night. The twilight darkened into night, and night wore on into the small hours, and now we gazed into the gloom anxiously, for at this time, if any, she would seek to run out. With straining eyes and the most intense quiet, we listen for the sound of paddle wheels. A stranger passing along our decks, seeing in the darkness the shadowy forms of men crouched in listening attitudes, would have fancied himself among a body of Indians watching stealthily some savage prey. The night ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 6, No. 1, July, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... again stood still, straining her eyes which were growing more accustomed to the darkness, to discover one of the temples at the end of the alley of sphinxes, suddenly and unexpectedly at her right hand a solemn and many-voiced hymn of lamentation fell upon her ear. This was from the priests of ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... mould, but of coal rubbish, coke and cinders; on the top of this bank was a fellow performing some dirty office or other, with a spade and barrow; beyond him, on the side of a hill, was a tramway, up which a horse was straining, drawing a load of something towards the north-west. Beyond the tramway was a grove of yellow-looking firs; beyond the grove a range of white houses with blue roofs, occupied, I suppose, by miners and their families; and beyond these I caught a sight of the mountain on the top of which I had ...
— Wild Wales - Its People, Language and Scenery • George Borrow

... she was running to the westward along the shore. A few hours at their present speed would bring them opposite La Guayra, whose location at the foot of the mighty La Silla of Caracas was even then discernible. Morgan could see that there were two or three other vessels opposite the town straining at their anchors in the heavy sea. Every preparation for action had been made in good time and the guns had been loaded. The sea lashings had been cast off, although the gun-tackles were carefully secured, for the wind was blowing fresher and the ...
— Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer - A Romance of the Spanish Main • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... through the water as it had never done before, except when it had raced the RED STREAK. "If I hit anything—good-by!" thought Tom grimly. His hands were tense on the rim of the steering-wheel and he was ready in an instant to reverse the motor as he sat there straining his eyes to see through the curtain of mist that hung over the lake. Now and then he glanced at the compass, to keep on the right course, and from time to time he looked at Mr. Duncan. The ...
— Tom Swift and his Motor-boat - or, The Rivals of Lake Carlopa • Victor Appleton

... fine, smart young sailor, who had been standing on a stay below the bowsprit, holding on with one hand, and straining out to aim a good throw at a large fish gliding beneath the bows. He had darted the harpooning "grains" or trident, struck the fish deeply, but from inexperience he had not carefully arranged the line attached to ...
— The Black Bar • George Manville Fenn

... and then the dark came, and both in due course went, and came again. Where he lay in his berth, and whirled and swung, and rose and sank, as lonely as a planetary fragment tossing in space, he heard the noises of the life without. Amidst the straining of the ship, which was like the sharp sweep of a thunder-shower on the deck overhead, there plunged at irregular intervals the wild trample of heavily-booted feet, and now and then the voices of the crew answering the ...
— The Lady of the Aroostook • W. D. Howells

... disciplined order, one company had sped for the water wagon and were now slowly trundling that unwieldy vehicle, pushing, pulling, straining at the wheels, from its night berth close to the corrals. Rushing like mad, in no order at all, the men of the other company came tearing across the open parade, and were faced and halted far out in front of officers' row by Blakely himself, barefooted and ...
— An Apache Princess - A Tale of the Indian Frontier • Charles King

... successful in catching some of the smaller ones, and obtain a supply of oil. Some time thus passed away; the first watch was nearly over, when he was startled by hearing a loud hail astern. Unwilling to awaken the ladies, he refrained from replying. He could just then distinguish the splash of oars; and straining his eyes through the darkness, he at last made out a boat approaching. He had no doubt she was the cutter, and he hoped to receive good tidings of those on board. As she drew near, he heard every now and then a strange wild shout, and several persons speaking. At length the boat came ...
— The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader - And what befell their Passengers and Crews. • W.H.G. Kingston

... civilization are on their knees before the men of the South, and with clasped hands and straining eyes are begging them to become ...
— The Poems of Sidney Lanier • Sidney Lanier

... who for one reason or another seemed to find pleasure in the company of the two, came in sight of the sorrel horse. There was no question that the station master's steed was ungainly and that harnessed to the old-fashioned buggy he presented to persons who were straining their eyes for the ludicrous a more or less amusing spectacle. The evening was warm and Tracey Campbell had pulled off his sweater. As he went by the sorrel horse he gave the garment a snap which sent one of the sleeves flying against the animal's neck. With a snort of surprise the horse ...
— The Mark of the Knife • Clayton H. Ernst

... coinage of his brain that distant pit-pat of a horse's hoofs upon the hard road; and springing out of bed, he ran to the window, threw it open, and looked out, straining his neck to get a glimpse of the ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... mind's eye he beheld rolling tug-boats straining against long lines of scows, against the dead weight of field-guns, against the pull of thousands of motionless, silent figures, each in khaki, each in a black leather helmet, each with one ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... since the Hebrides were strown with the wrecks of the Armada. The body politic, which, while it remained in repose, had presented a superficial appearance of health and vigour, was now under the necessity of straining every nerve in a wrestle for life or death, and was immediately found to be unequal to the exertion. The first efforts showed an utter relaxation of fibre, an utter want of training. Those efforts were, with ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... through the murky layer and saw the surface like a wrinkled silver sheet far overhead. Straining, he swam for it, letting out his breath as the pressure ...
— The Wailing Octopus • Harold Leland Goodwin

... towards the movement and stir of the town. Everything he heard and saw made an intensely vivid impression. The lions in Trafalgar Square, the great buildings of Whitehall, filled him with a sort of exultation. He was like a man, who, after a long sea voyage, first catches sight of land, and stands straining his eyes, hardly breathing, taking in one by one the lost features of that face. He walked on to Westminster Bridge, and going to an embrasure in the very centre, looked ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... would not receive the pressure of the gas in a line with its direction of motion; and so of the hollow butt; the gas, acting and reacting in every way perpendicularly to the surface it acts on, wastes its force in straining outwardly. The perfectly flat butt would take as much forward impetus at the edge of the cone base, where the soft lead would yield slightly. And so we find the best form to be a base which receives the force of the powder in such a way that the resultant of the forces ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... there, the beast exerting every effort to reach me with those awful fangs, and I straining to maintain my grip and choke the life from it as I kept it from my throat. Slowly my arms gave to the unequal struggle, and inch by inch the burning eyes and gleaming tusks of my antagonist crept toward me, until, as the hairy face touched mine again, I realized that all ...
— A Princess of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... the literal sense of David Gillespie he had not yet been sufficiently proved an impostor: till he should bring his daughter a strand of the hair which Dylks had proclaimed it death to touch, she would believe in him, and David followed in the crowd straining forward to reach Redfield, who with one of his friends had Dylks under his protection. The old man threw himself upon Dylks and caught a thick strand of his hair, dragging him backward by it. Redfield looked ...
— The Leatherwood God • William Dean Howells

... warning to foretell the fate that was preparing for them. Thus actuated, all discipline was gone, and no connected efforts were further made to protect the ship or render her in any degree safer from the power of the storm. To add still more to the critical condition on board, the ship after straining and laboring so long, now began to leak and rapidly to fill. In this desperate state of affairs several of the crew, whose numbers were already thinned by being washed overboard, got into the spirit room and in a condition of wild ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... no possible reason for the situation in which he found himself. What the purpose of the beam of light was; why it thus focused upon his upturned face, he could not guess. He thought about it for many minutes, his eyes closed, his head straining restlessly toward the soft outer darkness. Presently there flashed into his mind Dr. Hartmann's words at their last meeting: "While I know how to cure mental disorders, I also know how to create them." The ...
— The Ivory Snuff Box • Arnold Fredericks

... them and delivered his message. There was rushing about and a gathering of weapons and a sorting out of men who should go upon the expedition. But little time was wasted. Within half an hour Ab was straining back again up the river toward his own abode, while behind him trailed half a hundred of the Shell People, armed in a way effective enough, but which, in the estimation of the cave men, was preposterous. The spears of the Shell People ...
— The Story of Ab - A Tale of the Time of the Cave Man • Stanley Waterloo

... less difficulty he managed to accomplish this task. It would relieve Bristles considerably; and even as it was, the straining boy up there would have a tremendous task ahead of him, raising two ...
— Fred Fenton on the Track - or, The Athletes of Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... to twelve when I went down to the yard, where all the dogs were standing on their hind legs and straining at their chains, eager to be patted and talked to, and strongly excited at the sight of the horse being put to in ...
— Brownsmith's Boy - A Romance in a Garden • George Manville Fenn

... her eyes fixed on him, painfully straining to see him through the rain and darkness; and, when she spoke again, he knew she knew ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... view it is just enough to encourage the "period" holders to try and arrange a scheme; but it is just hot enough to prevent their opponents (justly) taxing them with straining or "torturing" the text and failing fairly to make out their case after all. From another point of view the correspondence is so far established, and so undeniably unprecedented (in human cosmogonies) and noteworthy, as to demand imperatively ...
— Creation and Its Records • B.H. Baden-Powell

... glue and bracing, and fitting iron rings about it. The vibration of the motor and the straining have pulled the nail heads through the holes ...
— Dave Dashaway and his Hydroplane • Roy Rockwood

... next few days Duallach went hither and thither trying to raise a bodyguard, and every man he met had some story of Costello, how he killed the wrestler when but a boy by so straining at the belt that went about them both that he broke the big wrestler's back; how when somewhat older he dragged fierce horses through a ford in the Unchion for a wager; how when he came to manhood he broke the steel horseshoe in Mayo; how he drove many men before him through Rushy ...
— The Secret Rose • W. B. Yeats

... that "the English had landed twelve days too late," and the Journalist drew a graphic, and purely imaginary, picture of the pathos of the Belgians straining their eyes in vain to the West for the coming of the men in khaki, and unfortunately he let himself expatiate a ...
— Told in a French Garden - August, 1914 • Mildred Aldrich

... a few feet from the boy's hiding place and came to a halt beside the prostrate pony. His straining ears caught their ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Montana • Frank Gee Patchin

... excite them a great deal. A messenger in a state of exhaustion, who had an injury to the fleshy part of his left arm, which looked to me as though it had been caused by a bullet, appeared out of the bush and said something of which, by straining my ears, I caught two words—"Great slaughter." Then Kambula laid his fingers on his lips as a signal for silence and led the man away, nor did I see or hear any more of him. Afterwards I asked Kambula who had suffered this great slaughter, whereon he ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... With wistful, straining eyes I waited, and the sunshine flecked the bank Happy with arbutus and violets where I sank Hearing, near by, a host of melodies, The rapture of the woodthrush; soft her mood The love-mate, with such golden ...
— A Woman's Love Letters • Sophie M. Almon-Hensley

... victories of startling magnitude. But even without any exaggeration tales grave enough were being carried from lip to lip throughout the Indian tribes. Small wonder that the irresponsible young Chiefs, chafing under the rule of the white man and thirsting for the mad rapture of fight, were straining almost to the breaking point the authority of the cooler older heads, so that even that subtle redskin statesman, Crowfoot, began to fear for his own ...
— The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail • Ralph Connor

... been the character of the Puritans. We perceive the absurdity of their manners. We dislike the sullen gloom of their domestic habits. We acknowledge that the tone of their minds was often injured by straining after things too high for mortal reach; and we know that, in spite of their hatred of popery, they too often fell into the worst vices of that bad system, intolerance and extravagant austerity, ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... can never separate),—not indeed peculiar to these, for it is the same in the Psalms, Ezekiel, and throughout the Scriptures, but which I feel most in Paul and Luther, —there is one fearful blank, the wisdom or necessity of which I do not doubt, yet cannot help groping and straining after like one that stares in the dark; and this is Death. The law makes us afraid of death. What is death?—an unhappy life? Who does not feel the insufficiency of this answer? What analogy does immortal suffering bear to the only death ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... straining ears, and, deciding that the way was clear, she descended the thickly carpeted stairs. Near the bottom, opposite the open doors of the front drawing-room, she paused to look into the big mirror on the opposite wall. As she turned her head for a final touch to the back of her ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... much accommodation for a lady at this wayside tavern; but, as it was a fine evening in early summer, she did not mind—walking about outside, and straining her eyes along the highway for the expected one. But each cloud of dust that enlarged in the distance and drew near was found to disclose a conveyance other than his post-chaise. Barbara remained till the appointment was two hours ...
— A Group of Noble Dames • Thomas Hardy



Words linked to "Straining" :   travail, effort, misrepresentation, overrefinement, sweat, effortful, elbow grease, twisting, exertion, falsification



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