Dictionary

constrain

constrain

verb con·strain \kən-ˈstrān\

: to limit or restrict (something or someone)

: to use pressure to force (someone) to do something

Full Definition of CONSTRAIN

transitive verb
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>
con·strained·ly \-ˈstrā-nəd-lē, -ˈstrānd-lē\ adverb

Examples of CONSTRAIN

  1. <constrained by conscience to tell only the truth>
  2. <constrained his anger at the needless interruption>

Origin of CONSTRAIN

Middle English, from Anglo-French constraindre, from Latin constringere to constrict, constrain, from com- + stringere to draw tight — more at strain
First Known Use: 14th century

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