strained adj.

1 worried and tense

VERBS be, feel, look, seem, sound

ADV. very | a bit, a little, rather She looked rather strained and miserable.

2 not natural or friendly

VERBS be | become, grow | remain The atmosphere remained somewhat strained all evening.

ADV. extremely, severely, very Relations between the two countries had become severely strained. | increasingly | a bit, a little, rather, slightly, somewhat