strain-v; 3 Senses

Sense Number 1: stretch to the utmost, causing stress or injury

Commentary: NP1[+agent] STRAIN NP2[+object] (PP[direction,location])
NOTE: Compare to sense 2, this sense refers to straining an object where sense 2 refers to straining to do an action. eg. 'straining one's back' vs 'straining to lift something'. Thus if a PP is used without NP2, NP2 is implied. Includes metaphorical uses.

You are straining my patience.
Calvin strained his back lifting the drywall.
Failing to see his tail, he strained his neck further.
Other events that strained the relationship during that period were
the Cox report.
Workers are instucted not to strain their eyes for diamonds.

VerbNet: hurt-40.8.3-2
FrameNet: Experience_bodily_harm
PropBank: strain.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2, 3, 5, 6, 9

Sense Number 2: exert great effort at an action, without necessarily causing harm to the doer

Commentary: NP1[+animate] STRAIN VP[infinitve] (NP2[-concrete])
NOTE: compare to sense 1. This focus of this sense is the exertion, to perform an action, as opposed to the harm inflicted upon the object of the action. eg. 'straining to see' vs 'straining your eyes'

He strained to hear what was being said.
She strained to answer the questions she had on Shandra.
The 302 horses under the Benz's hood are practically in a lather, straining to get free.

VerbNet: NM
FrameNet: NM
PropBank: strain.03
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 3: pass through a strainer

Then she strained the mixture, using a piece of cloth.

VerbNet: wipe_manner-10.4.1
FrameNet: NM
PropBank: strain.02
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 4, 7, 8