Constrain Con*strain", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Constrained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Constraining}.] [OF. constraindre, F. contrainde, L. constringere; con- + stringere to draw tight. See {Strain}, and. cf. {Constrict}, {Constringe}.] 1. To secure by bonds; to chain; to bond or confine; to hold tightly; to constringe. [1913 Webster]

He binds in chains The drowsy prophet, and his limbs constrains. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

When winter frosts constrain the fields with cold. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. To bring into a narrow compass; to compress. [1913 Webster]

How the strait stays the slender waist constrain. --Gay. [1913 Webster]

3. To hold back by force; to restrain; to repress. [1913 Webster]

My sire in caves constrains the winds. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. To compel; to force; to necessitate; to oblige. [1913 Webster]

The love of Christ constraineth us. --2. Cor. v. 14. [1913 Webster]

I was constrained to appeal unto C[ae]sar. --Acts xxviii. 19. [1913 Webster]

5. To violate; to ravish. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. To produce in such a manner as to give an unnatural effect; as, a constrained voice.

Syn: To compel; force; drive; impel; urge; press. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • constrain — I (compel) verb actuate, apply pressure, assert oneself, bring about by force, bring pressure to bear upon, burden, cause to, charge, coerce, cogere, command, command influence, compel, compellere, decree, demand, dominate, drive, enforce,… …   Law dictionary

  • constrain — early 14c., constreyen, from stem of O.Fr. constreindre (Mod.Fr. contraindre) restrain, control, from L. constringere to bind together, tie tightly, fetter, shackle, chain, from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + stringere to draw tight (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • constrain — oblige, coerce, compel, *force Analogous words: impel, drive, *move, actuate: require, exact, *demand …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • constrain — [v] force; restrain ban, bar, bind, bottle up, bridle, chain, check, coerce, compel, concuss, confine, constrict, cool off*, cork, curb, deny, deprive, disallow, drive, hem in*, hog tie*, hold back, hold down, hold in, immure, impel, imprison,… …   New thesaurus

  • constrain — ► VERB 1) compel or force towards a course of action. 2) (constrained) appearing forced. 3) severely restrict the scope, extent, or activity of. DERIVATIVES constrainedly adverb. ORIGIN Old French constraindre, from Latin constringere bind t …   English terms dictionary

  • constrain — [kən strān′] vt. [ME constreinen < OFr constreindre < L constringere, to bind together, draw together < com , together + stringere, to draw tight: see STRICT] 1. to force into, or hold in, close bounds; confine 2. to hold back by force;… …   English World dictionary

  • constrain — v. (formal) 1) (D; tr.) to constrain from 2) (H) to constrain smb. to do smt. * * * [kən streɪn] (H) to constrain smb. to do smt. (formal) (D; tr.) to constrain from …   Combinatory dictionary

  • constrain — con|strain [kənˈstreın] v [T] [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: constraindre, from Latin constringere to constrict, constrain , from com ( COM ) + stringere to pull tight ] 1.) to stop someone from doing what they want to do constrain sb… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • constrain */ — UK [kənˈstreɪn] / US verb [transitive] Word forms constrain : present tense I/you/we/they constrain he/she/it constrains present participle constraining past tense constrained past participle constrained formal 1) to limit someone s freedom to do …   English dictionary

  • constrain — See check, curb, restrain, constrain. See check, curb, restrain, constrain …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

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