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

What’s different in China is the constraints that come with having state backing. Echo Huang, Quartz, "A private Chinese space firm successfully launched a rocket into orbit," 25 July 2019 Coutinho was a constraint on their freedom and getting rid allowed Klopp to tinker with his formations and, ultimately, uncover a winning formula, which has no place for the former Inter midfielder. SI.com, "Philippe Coutinho: Why Liverpool Would Be Insane to Bring the Brazilian Back to Anfield," 15 July 2019 Also, not every bit of land that can be reforested will be because there are other constraints. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting climate change," 5 July 2019 And to say that there are constitutional constraints on the scope and structure of congressional delegation to agencies is not to say that no delegation is allowed at all. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "The Supreme Court Is One Vote Away from Changing How the U.S. Is Governed," 3 July 2019 Such efforts need to be implemented by human beings, acting within the constraints of their motivations, cultures, and institutions, including dysfunctional local governments. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "A Plan to Cut the Murder Rate that Conservatives Should Get Behind," 11 July 2019 Such constraints are unenviable, but the result reveals odd choices. Emily Bobrow, WSJ, "‘I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola’ Review: Spirituality in an Age of Irony," 9 July 2019 The major constraint in monetary transmission is that lenders are faced with anaemic levels of deposit growth. Vk Vijayakumar, Quartz India, "A fragile economy leaves Nirmala Sitharaman with little room to dole out goodies," 1 July 2019 Manufacturers generally argue these constraints are necessary to protect proprietary information that gives their product a leg up in the overall marketplace. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Hackers, farmers, and doctors unite! Support for Right to Repair laws slowly grows," 20 June 2019

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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Statistics for constraint

Last Updated

9 Aug 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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Comments on constraint

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