See also: Drain


English Wikipedia has articles on:
Storm drain.

Alternative formsEdit


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/
  • (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 Britain) 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. (slang, dated) A drink.

Derived termsEdit



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.
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries
      Fountains drain the water from the ground adjacent.
    • (Can we date this quote by Motley and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      But it was not alone that he drained their treasure and hampered their industry.
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To filter.
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries
      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.

Derived termsEdit


  • French: drainer (see there for further descendants)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.





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