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See also: Drain


English Wikipedia has an article on:
Storm drain.

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English dreinen, from Old English drēahnian (to drain, strain, filter), from Proto-Germanic *drauhnōną (to strain, sieve), from Proto-Germanic *draugiz (dry, parched). Akin to Old English drūgian (to dry up), Old English drūgaþ (dryness, drought), Old English drȳġe (dry). More at dry.


  • IPA(key): /dɹeɪn/, [d͡ʒɹeɪn]
  • (dialectal) IPA(key): /dɹiːn/ (see dreen)[1]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪn


drain (plural drains)

  1. (chiefly US, Canada) A conduit allowing liquid to flow out of an otherwise contained volume; a plughole (UK)
    The drain in the kitchen sink is clogged.
    • 2013 March 1, Frank Fish, George Lauder, “Not Just Going with the Flow”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 2, page 114:
      An extreme version of vorticity is a vortex. The vortex is a spinning, cyclonic mass of fluid, which can be observed in the rotation of water going down a drain, as well as in smoke rings, tornados and hurricanes.
  2. (chiefly UK) An access point or conduit for rainwater that drains directly downstream in a (drainage) basin without going through sewers or water treatment in order to prevent or belay floods.
  3. Something consuming resources and providing nothing in return.
    That rental property is a drain on our finances.
  4. (vulgar) An act of urination.
  5. (electronics) One terminal of a field effect transistor (FET).
  6. (pinball) An outhole.
  7. (UK, slang, dated) A drink.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, Three Detective Anecdotes:
      When the play was over, we came out together, and I said, "We've been very companionable and agreeable, and perhaps you wouldn't object to a drain?"
    • 1966, Henry Mayhew, Peter Quennell, London's Underworld (page 48)
      What did she want with money, except now and then for a drain of white satin.

Derived terms[edit]



drain (third-person singular simple present drains, present participle draining, simple past and past participle drained)

  1. (intransitive) To lose liquid.
    The clogged sink drained slowly.
    • Knock knock.
      Who's there?
      Dwayne who?
      Drain the bathtub, I'm drowning.
  2. (intransitive) To flow gradually.
    The water of low ground drains off.
  3. (transitive, ergative) To cause liquid to flow out of.
    Please drain the sink. It's full of dirty water.
  4. (transitive, ergative) To convert a perennially wet place into a dry one.
    They had to drain the swampy land before the parking lot could be built.
  5. (transitive) To deplete of energy or resources.
    The stress of this job is really draining me.
  6. (transitive) To draw off by degrees; to cause to flow gradually out or off; hence, to exhaust.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      Fountains drain the water from the ground adjacent.
    • 1856, John Lothrop Motley, The Rise of the Dutch Republic. A History. [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
      But it was not alone that he drained their treasure and hampered their industry.
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To filter.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      Salt water, drained through twenty vessels of earth, hath become fresh.
  8. (intransitive, pinball) To fall off the bottom of the playfield.
    • 1990, Steven A. Schwartz, Compute's Nintendo Secrets:
      When a ball finally drains, it's gulped down by a giant gator beneath the set of flippers.
  9. (slang, archaic, transitive) To drink.
    • Bet the Coaley's Daughter (traditional song)
      But when I strove my flame to tell, / Says she, 'Come, stow that patter, / If you're a cove wot likes a gal, / Vy don't you stand some gatter?' / In course I instantly complied— / Two brimming quarts of porter, / With sev'ral goes of gin beside, / Drain'd Bet the Coaley's daughter.

Derived terms[edit]


  • French: drainer (see there for further descendants)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ Bingham, Caleb (1808), “Improprieties in Pronunciation, common among the people of New-England”, in The Child's Companion; Being a Conciſe Spelling-book [] [1], 12th edition, Boston: Manning & Loring, →OCLC, page 75.





  1. dative of drai
    Bar zèinan in drain.
    There are three of us.
    (literally, “We are in three.”)



drain m (plural drains)

  1. (electronics) drain

Further reading[edit]