A constraint is a limit or restriction. Hopefully your school won't cut the sports or music programs due to budget constraints!

You might notice that constraint is similar to the verb constrict, as in boa constrictor. A constraint tightens around you like a snake and prevents you from doing what you want. Financial constraints prevent you from buying the latest electronic device. Are you tired of living under the constraint of your parents' rules? Sometimes your worries or feelings act as a constraint. You know that someone has become a close friend when you can talk to them without constraint.

Definitions of constraint

n the state of being physically constrained

something that restricts freedom as a cage restricts movement
iron cage
a cage from which there is no escape
Type of:
the state of being confined

n the act of constraining; the threat or use of force to control the thoughts or behavior of others

swaddling clothes
restrictions placed on the immature
Type of:
confinement, restriction
the act of keeping something within specified bounds (by force if necessary)

n a device that impede's something's motion

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air bag
a safety restraint in an automobile; the bag inflates on collision and prevents the driver or passenger from being thrown forward
airbrake, dive brake
a small parachute or articulated flap to reduce the speed of an aircraft
arrester, arrester hook
a restraint that slows airplanes as they land on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier
a restraint put around something to hold it together
a restraint used to slow or stop a vehicle
anything that slows or hinders a process
brake pad
one of the pads that apply friction to both sides of the brake disk
brake shoe, shoe, skid
a restraint provided when the brake linings are moved hydraulically against the brake drum to retard the wheel's rotation
catch, stop
a restraint that checks the motion of something
anything that acts as a restraint
fastener, fastening, fixing, holdfast
restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
gag, muzzle
restraint put into a person's mouth to prevent speaking or shouting
lead, leash, tether
restraint consisting of a rope (or light chain) used to restrain an animal
ignition lock, lock
a restraint incorporated into the ignition switch to prevent the use of a vehicle by persons who do not have the key
a leather or wire restraint that fits over an animal's snout (especially a dog's nose and jaws) and prevents it from eating or biting
life belt, safety belt, safety harness
belt attaching you to some object as a restraint in order to prevent you from getting hurt
drogue, sea anchor
restraint consisting of a canvas covered frame that floats behind a vessel; prevents drifting or maintains the heading into a wind
bond, hamper, shackle, trammel
a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble
ball and chain
heavy iron ball attached to a prisoner by a chain
a strap around the belly of a draft animal holding the shafts of a wagon
bench hook
any of various stops on a workbench against which work can be pushed (as while chiseling or planing)
brake band
a band that can be tightened around a shaft to stop its rotation
brake system, brakes
a braking device consisting of a combination of interacting parts that work to slow a motor vehicle
fastener that fastens together two ends of a belt or strap; often has loose prong
a round fastener sewn to shirts and coats etc to fit through buttonholes
carabiner, karabiner, snap ring
an oblong metal ring with a spring clip; used in mountaineering to attach a rope to a piton or to connect two ropes
a fastener that fastens or locks a door or window
a fastener (as a buckle or hook) that is used to hold two things together
a fastener (usually with two projecting horns) around which a rope can be secured
the flattened part of a nail or bolt or rivet
any of various small fasteners used to hold loose articles together
clothes peg, clothes pin, clothespin
wood or plastic fastener; for holding clothes on a clothesline
coaster brake
a brake on a bicycle that engages with reverse pressure on the pedals
a band or collar that holds an individual stone in a jewelry setting
corrugated fastener, wiggle nail
a small strip of corrugated steel with sharp points on one side; hammered across wood joints in rough carpentry
cottar, cotter
fastener consisting of a wedge or pin inserted through a slot to hold two other pieces together
cringle, eyelet, grommet, grummet, loop
fastener consisting of a metal ring for lining a small hole to permit the attachment of cords or lines
doorstop, doorstopper
a stop that keeps open doors from moving
dowel, dowel pin, joggle
a fastener that is inserted into holes in two adjacent pieces and holds them together
fetter, hobble
a shackle for the ankles or feet
fillet, stopping
fastener consisting of a narrow strip of welded metal used to join steel members
emergency, emergency brake, hand brake, parking brake
a brake operated by hand; usually operates by mechanical linkage
cuff, handcuff, handlock, manacle
shackle that consists of a metal loop that can be locked around the wrist; usually used in pairs
hook and eye
a kind of fastener used on clothing
chains, irons
metal shackles; for hands or legs
any of various fastenings formed by looping and tying a rope (or cord) upon itself or to another rope or to another object
rope that is used for fastening something to something else
a metal band used to attach a reed to the mouthpiece of a clarinet or saxophone
link, linkup, tie, tie-in
a fastener that serves to join or connect
a fastener fitted to a door or drawer to keep it firmly closed
a fastener that locks or closes
a thin pointed piece of metal that is hammered into materials as a fastener
nut and bolt
a fastener made by screwing a nut onto a threaded bolt
paper fastener
a fastener for holding a sheet of paper in place
click, detent, dog, pawl
a hinged catch that fits into a notch of a ratchet to move a wheel forward or prevent it from moving backward
a small slender (often pointed) piece of wood or metal used to support or fasten or attach things
power brake
a brake on an automobile that magnifies a small force applied to the brake pedal into a proportionately larger force applied to slow or stop the vehicle
a fastener with a tapered threaded shank and a slotted head
fastener that provides a tight and perfect closure
seal, sealing wax
fastener consisting of a resinous composition that is plastic when warm; used for sealing documents and parcels and letters
seat belt, seatbelt
a safety belt used in a car or plane to hold you in your seat in case of an accident
slide fastener, zip, zip fastener, zipper
a fastener for locking together two toothed edges by means of a sliding tab
press stud, snap, snap fastener
a fastener used on clothing; fastens with a snapping sound
a fastener consisting of a peg or pin or crosspiece that is inserted into an eye at the end of a rope or a chain or a cable in order to fasten it to something (as another rope or chain or cable)
toggle bolt
a fastener consisting of a threaded bolt and a hinged spring-loaded toggle; used to fasten objects to hollow walls
trip, tripper
a catch mechanism that acts as a switch
band or rope made of twisted twigs or stems
Type of:
an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose

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