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:

  • Constrained — Con*strained , a. Marked by constraint; not free; not voluntary; embarrassed; as, a constrained manner; a constrained tone. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • constrained — [kən strānd′] adj. 1. compelled; forced; obliged 2. forced and unnatural [a constrained laugh] constrainedly [kənstrān′id lē] adv …   English World dictionary

  • constrained — index arrested (apprehended), bound, controlled (restrained), obligatory Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • constrained — adj. (formal) (cannot stand alone) constrained to + inf. (we were constrained to act) * * * [kən streɪnd] (formal) (cannot stand alone) constrained to + inf. (we were constrained to act) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • constrained — adjective 1 constrained to do sth feeling that you are forced to do something: In the recession companies felt constrained to make job cuts where possible. 2 a constrained smile, manner etc seems too controlled and is not natural constrainedly… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • constrained — constrainedly /keuhn stray nid lee/, adv. /keuhn straynd /, adj. 1. forced, compelled, or obliged: a constrained confession. 2. stiff or unnatural; uneasy or embarrassed: a constrained manner. [1565 75; CONSTRAIN + ED2] * * * …   Universalium

  • constrained — con|strained [kənˈstreınd] adj be/feel constrained to do sth to feel that you must do something ▪ He felt constrained to accept the invitation …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • constrained — /kənˈstreɪnd/ (say kuhn straynd) adjective forced; cramped; restrained; stiff or unnatural: a constrained smile; a constrained manner. –constrainedly /kənˈstreɪnədli/ (say kuhn straynuhdlee), adverb …   Australian English dictionary

  • constrained — adj. VERBS ▪ be, feel ADVERB ▪ highly, severely, tightly ▪ She felt tightly constrained by her family commitments …   Collocations dictionary

  • constrained — adjective she was uncharacteristically constrained whenever her in laws were visiting Syn: unnatural, awkward, self conscious, forced, stilted, strained; restrained, reserved, reticent, guarded Ant: relaxed …   Thesaurus of popular words

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