Definition of drain noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dreɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dreɪn//
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  1. 1[countable] a pipe that carries away dirty water or other liquid waste We had to call in a plumber to unblock the drain. The drains (= the system of pipes) date from the beginning of the century. Wordfinderdrain, dump, effluent, exhaust, fly-tip, incinerator, landfill, rubbish, sewage, waste
  2. 2[countable] (British English) (US English grate, sewer grate) a frame of metal bars over the opening to a drain in the ground
  3. 3(US English) (British English plughole) [countable] a hole in a bath/ bathtub, sink, etc. where the water flows away and into which a plug fits
  4. 4[singular] a drain on somebody/something a thing that uses a lot of the time, money, etc. that could be used for something else Military spending is a huge drain on the country's resources. see also brain drain
  5. Word OriginOld English drēahnian, drēhnian ‘strain (liquid)’, of Germanic origin; related to dry.Extra examples They were busy laying the drains for the new houses. a bottle of drain cleaner scientists joining the brain drain The drains date from the beginning of the last century.Idioms
    (go) down the drain (British English also (go) down the plughole)
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    (informal) (to be) wasted; (to get) very much worse It's just money down the drain, you know. Safety standards have gone down the drain.
    (British English) to laugh very loudly
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: drain