constrain

To constrain is to hold back, restrain, or confine. If you've ever had to constrain a toddler in the middle of a temper tantrum, you know you have to watch out for flailing limbs.

The verb constrain comes from the Latin word constringere, which means to bind together or tie tightly. Constrain can imply both literal and figurative bindings. You can constrain someone by physically holding on to something like a person's shirt. Or, you can figuratively constrain someone by putting up obstacles. Your teenagers, for example, may feel constrained by your rules and accuse you of sucking the fun out of their social lives.

DEFINITIONS OF: constrain

1

v hold back

Synonyms:
cumber, encumber, restrain
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
bridle
put a bridle on
curb
keep to the curb
clog
impede the motion of, as with a chain or a burden
snaffle
fit or restrain with a snaffle
Type of:
bound, confine, limit, restrain, restrict, throttle, trammel
place limits on (extent or access)

v restrict

Synonyms:
stiffen, tighten, tighten up
Type of:
bound, confine, limit, restrain, restrict, throttle, trammel
place limits on (extent or access)
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES