Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A painful wrenching or laceration of the ligaments of a joint.
  • n. The condition resulting from a sprain.
  • transitive v. To cause a sprain to (a joint or ligament).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or result of spraining; lameness caused by spraining; as, a bad sprain of the wrist.
  • v. To weaken, as a joint, ligament, or muscle, by sudden and excessive exertion, as by wrenching; to overstrain, or stretch injuriously, but without luxation; as, to sprain one's ankle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To weaken, as a joint, ligament, or muscle, by sudden and excessive exertion, as by wrenching; to overstrain, or stretch injuriously, but without luxation.
  • n. The act or result of spraining; lameness caused by spraining.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To press; push.
  • To overstrain, as the muscles or ligaments of a joint so as to injure them, but without luxation or dislocation.
  • n. A violent straining or wrenching of the soft parts surrounding a joint, without dislocation.
  • n. The injury caused by spraining; a sprained joint.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. twist suddenly so as to sprain
  • n. a painful injury to a joint caused by a sudden wrenching of its ligaments

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1601, verb attested 1622. Possibly from Middle French espraindre ("to press out, to wring"), from Latin exprimere, in which case cognate to express. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Hollins, who has missed the past week with a mild ankle sprain, is averaging 12.2 points and 10.4 rebounds for Fort Worth. ...

    USATODAY.com - Basketball - Boston vs. Charlotte

  • It seems that one of the things that happens with a sprain is "proprioceptive deficit" which is a fancy way to say that you joint ability to "sense" where it is vs where it should be is reduced.

    SMA cobblestones make you healthier

  • They are similar to what is commonly called a sprain, but as they are

    Papers on Health

  • A third-degree sprain translates into a ligament tear.

    theadvertiser.com -

  • Nowitzki turns his ankle on Sunday, McGrady’s back tightens up last night … if Gilbert’s sprain is not bad, 2 weeks might be doable since you know he’s going to go 24-hr rehab.

    Matthew Yglesias » When It Rains

  • When the MRI came back, he did have a deltoid side ankle ligament sprain, which is what we saw all the bleeding from last night….

    T.O.

  • "He has a high ankle sprain, which is a much more difficult sprain," Lowe said.

    National Basketball Association - Bucks vs. Rockets

  • -- A sprain is usually the result of some involuntary stress coming upon the part.

    Papers on Health

  • A twist or strain of the ligaments and soft parts about a joint is known as a sprain, and may result from a great variety of accidents.

    A Practical Physiology

  • -- A sprain is the tearing of the ligaments or capsule of a joint and bursting of small blood vessels, and swelling.

    Rhymes of the Rookies

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