constraint

noun
con·​straint | \ kən-ˈstrānt How to pronounce constraint (audio) \

Definition of constraint

1a : the act of constraining
b : the state of being checked, restricted, or compelled to avoid or perform some action … the constraint and monotony of a monastic life …— Matthew Arnold a life of invalidism and constraint
c : a constraining condition, agency, or force : check put legal constraints on the board's activities Budget constraints have forced me to revise my travel plans.
2a : repression of one's own feelings, behavior, or actions emotional constraint
b : a sense of being constrained : embarrassment " … a constraint between us as if we were strangers … "— John P. Marquand

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Examples of constraint in a Sentence

Lack of funding has been a major constraint on the building's design. They demand freedom from constraint. They refuse to work under constraint any longer.
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Recent Examples on the Web

GaN erases this constraint and could open up new possibilities that change how cars are designed in the future. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Gallium nitride is the silicon of the future," 1 Nov. 2018 Even with pipeline constraints and labor shortages in West Texas and New Mexico, IHS Markit still projects Permian production to surge from 2.5 million barrels a day last year to 5.4 million barrels daily by 2023. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Permian will outpace all OPEC nations except Saudis," 13 June 2018 But for her first fictional effort, Gera has nonetheless crafted a warmly nuanced look at love in a place filled with constraints and contradictions, and where a broken heart could perhaps be the first step toward emancipation. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sir': Film Review | Cannes 2018," 14 May 2018 These are broad strategic concepts, and in reality such ideas are often overtaken by near-term constraints and realities. Rodger Baker, Fortune, "Commentary: Trump and Kim Are Both Unconventional. That Might Help Them Strike a Deal.," 2 May 2018 Given the ingredients, the results are what you’d expect: An earnest tear-jerker about following your dreams, the constraints of being born in a specific place, and the difficulty of staying true to yourself. refinery29.com, "The True Story Behind," 13 Mar. 2018 However, in 2014, AngloGold Ashanti suspended gold production in Obuasi due to financial constraints, laying off more than 90 percent of its workforce and spending $210 million on severance packages. Marisa Schwartz Taylor, National Geographic, "Illegal Gold Mining Boom Threatens Cocoa Farmers (And Your Chocolate)," 6 Mar. 2018 How can Archigram’s ideas translate to a world facing the harsh reality of resource constraints? Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How the Archigram architectural collective, profiled in a comprehensive new book, designed for a more radical, and random, future," 26 Nov. 2018 Here’s an interesting example of constraints spurring creativity: As their names imply, mini programs allow files up to only 2MB. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The fake video era of US politics has arrived on Twitter," 9 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constraint.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of constraint

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for constraint

Middle English, from Middle French constrainte, from constraindre — see constrain

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Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for constraint

The first known use of constraint was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for constraint

constraint

noun

English Language Learners Definition of constraint

: something that limits or restricts someone or something
: control that limits or restricts someone's actions or behavior

constraint

noun
con·​straint | \ kən-ˈstrānt How to pronounce constraint (audio) \

Kids Definition of constraint

1 : control that limits or restricts The committee refused to act under constraint.
2 : something that limits or restricts money constraints

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