strain every nerve

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strain every nerve

To expend a maximum amount of effort to do something. I strained every nerve to reach that book on the top shelf, and I still couldn't get it.
See also: every, nerve, strain

strain every nerve

make every possible effort.
Nerve is used here in an earlier sense of ‘tendon or sinew’.
See also: every, nerve, strain

strain every ˈnerve/ˈsinew (to do something)

(written) try as hard as you can (to do something): He strained every sinew to help us, but didn’t succeed.
See also: every, nerve, strain

strain every nerve

To make every effort.
See also: every, nerve, strain
References in classic literature ?
Since I have been in that altered position, I have strained every nerve, I have exerted every energy, to improve it.
Patroclus gave chase, calling impetuously on the Danaans and full of fury against the Trojans, who, being now no longer in a body, filled all the ways with their cries of panic and rout; the air was darkened with the clouds of dust they raised, and the horses strained every nerve in their flight from the tents and ships towards the city.
In a country that has strained every nerve and sinew to develop nuclear weapons, spending countless billions, at least a third of all children are chronically malnourished.
Our JPEG2000 decoder and cryptographic AES and HMAC cores are key elements in the design and our team has strained every nerve to integrate and optimize the cores to meet the demanding specifications of the Barco Alchemy module.
The December 17 Authority for the Protection of the Revolution and the December 17 Association had strained every nerve to obtain the abused judge's nolle prosequi, but in vain, as the plaintiff was not in the region.
In an interview given in 2004, he said: "When The Disaster came out the minions of the Harold Wilson government, and the absurd George Thomas, strained every nerve and sinew to suppress it but such books cannot be smothered.