transitive verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French constraindre, from Latin constringere to constrict, constrain, from com- + stringere to draw tight — more at strain Date: 14th century 1. a. to force by imposed stricture, restriction, or limitation b. to restrict the motion of (a mechanical body) to a particular mode 2. compress; also to clasp tightly 3. to secure by or as if by bonds ; confine; broadly limit 4. to force or produce in an unnatural or strained manner <
a constrained smile
5. to hold back by or as if by force <
constraining my mind not to wander from the task — Charles Dickens
Synonyms: see forceconstrainedly adverb

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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