straitjacket

A jacket-shaped restraint that's meant to confine a violent person safely is called a straitjacket. Straitjackets were once commonly used in psychiatric hospitals.

These days you're much more likely to see a straitjacket used as a prop in magic show than in a hospital. Illusionists use straitjackets to perform escape tricks, since they're famously difficult (if not impossible) to wriggle out of. Straitjackets are made of sturdy material and hold the wearer's arms tightly against the body. Before the invention of modern psychiatric medicines and techniques, mentally ill patients were frequently restrained in straitjackets to protect themselves and others.

Definitions of straitjacket
1

n a garment similar to a jacket that is used to bind the arms tightly against the body as a means of restraining a violent person

Synonyms:
straightjacket
Type of:
garment
an article of clothing

n anything immaterial that severely hinders or confines

“they defected because Russian dance was in a straitjacket
“the government is operating in an economic straitjacket
Type of:
balk, baulk, check, deterrent, handicap, hinderance, hindrance, impediment
something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.