restrain

Restrain means to hold yourself back, which is exactly what you'd have to do if, after weeks of dieting, you found yourself face to face with a dessert case filled with pies, cakes, and cookies.

Restrain can also mean to restrict or hold back someone else, to prevent someone from doing what they're intending to do. Prison guards have to restrain a prisoner who is trying to attack one of his fellow inmates. That prisoner might even be put in handcuffs — a kind of restraint. You can restrain yourself, for example if you're watching a Broadway show and suddenly feel the urge to sing along. Your fellow audience members would be grateful for your restraint, especially if you've got a terrible voice.

Definitions of restrain
  1. verb
    hold back
    synonyms: constrain, cumber, encumber
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    types:
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    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, restrict, throttle, trammel
    place limits on (extent or access)
  2. verb
    close within bounds, limit, or hold back from movement
    synonyms: confine, hold
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    types:
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    bind, tie down, tie up, truss
    secure with or as if with ropes
    fetter, shackle
    restrain with fetters
    enchain
    restrain or bind with chains
    pinion, shackle
    bind the arms of
    impound, pound
    place or shut up in a pound
    pound, pound up
    shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits
    fold, pen up
    confine in a fold, like sheep
    ground
    confine or restrict to the ground
    chain up
    tie up with chains
    faggot, faggot up, fagot
    bind or tie up in or as if in a faggot
    faggot, fagot
    fasten together rods of iron in order to heat or weld them
    hog-tie
    tie together somebody's limbs
    cuff, handcuff, manacle
    confine or restrain with or as if with manacles or handcuffs
    type of:
    disable, disenable, incapacitate
    make unable to perform a certain action
  3. verb
    keep under control; keep in check
    synonyms: hold back, keep, keep back
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    types:
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    hold
    keep from exhaling or expelling
    confine
    prevent from leaving or from being removed
    bottle up, inhibit, suppress
    control and refrain from showing; of emotions, desires, impulses, or behavior
    check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
    bound, confine, limit, restrict, throttle, trammel
    place limits on (extent or access)
    conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, subdue, suppress
    to put down by force or authority
    damp
    restrain or discourage
    cabin
    confine to a small space, such as a cabin
    closet
    confine to a small space, as for intensive work
    coop in, coop up
    confine in or as if in a coop
    lock, lock away, lock in, lock up, put away, shut away, shut up
    place in a place where something cannot be removed or someone cannot escape
    lock in, seal in
    close with or as if with a tight seal
    crucify, mortify, subdue
    hold within limits and control
    abnegate, deny
    deny oneself (something); restrain, especially from indulging in some pleasure
    hold back, keep, keep back
    keep under control; keep in check
    quench
    electronics: suppress (sparking) when the current is cut off in an inductive circuit, or suppress (an oscillation or discharge) in a component or device
    choke
    check or slow down the action or effect of
    restrict
    place under restrictions; limit access to
    train
    cause to grow in a certain way by tying and pruning it
    catch
    check oneself during an action
    bate
    moderate or restrain; lessen the force of
    thermostat
    control the temperature with a thermostat
    counteract, countercheck
    oppose or check by a counteraction
    type of:
    bottle up, inhibit, suppress
    control and refrain from showing; of emotions, desires, impulses, or behavior
  4. verb
    compel or deter by or as if by threats
    synonyms: intimidate
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    types:
    dash, daunt, frighten away, frighten off, pall, scare, scare away, scare off
    cause to lose courage
    type of:
    discourage
    deprive of courage or hope; take away hope from; cause to feel discouraged
  5. verb
    place limits on (extent or access)
    synonyms: bound, confine, limit, restrict, throttle, trammel
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    types:
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    reduce, tighten
    narrow or limit
    tie
    limit or restrict to
    gate
    restrict (school boys') movement to the dormitory or campus as a means of punishment
    draw a line, draw the line
    reasonably object (to) or set a limit (on)
    mark off, mark out
    set boundaries to and delimit
    harness, rein, rule
    keep in check
    baffle, regulate
    check the emission of (sound)
    cramp, halter, hamper, strangle
    prevent the progress or free movement of
    constrain, stiffen, tighten, tighten up
    restrict
    clamp down, crack down
    repress or suppress (something regarded as undesirable)
    constrict, inhibit
    limit the range or extent of
    constrain, cumber, encumber
    hold back
    bridle
    put a bridle on
    curb
    keep to the curb
    clog
    impede the motion of, as with a chain or a burden
    type of:
    check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
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