verb con·strict \kən-ˈstrikt\

Definition of constrict

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to make narrow or draw together Smoking constricts blood vessels.b :  compress, squeeze constrict a nerve These shoes are too small and they constrict my feet.

  3. 2 :  to stultify, stop, or cause to falter :  inhibit The expectation of violence constricts our lives. — Marge Piercy

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to become constricted The drug causes the blood vessels to constrict.


play \-ˈstrik-tiv\ adjective

Examples of constrict in a sentence

  1. The drug is used to constrict blood vessels.

  2. The declining economy has constricted job opportunities.

  3. a life constricted by poverty and disease

  4. He felt constricted by their notions of what was proper.

Did You Know?

Arteries constricted by cholesterol slow the flow of blood, just as traffic arteries or highways constricted by accidents slow the flow of traffic. But constriction isn't always physical. Economic growth may be constricted by trade barriers. A narrow, constricted life may be the result of poverty or lack of opportunity. And an actress may feel constricted by a role she played as a child or by her TV character from years ago, which the public refuses to forget.

Origin and Etymology of constrict

Latin constrictus, past participle of constringere —see constrain

First Known Use: 1732

Synonym Discussion of constrict

contract, shrink, condense, compress, constrict, deflate mean to decrease in bulk or volume. contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length caused her muscles to contract. shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions the sweater will shrink when washed. condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content condense the essay into a paragraph. compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance compressed cotton into bales. constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter the throat is constricted by a tight collar. deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas deflate the balloon.

CONSTRICT Defined for English Language Learners


verb con·strict \kən-ˈstrikt\

Definition of constrict for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) narrower, smaller, or tighter

  • : to become narrower, smaller, or tighter

  • : to prevent or keep (something or someone) from developing freely

CONSTRICT Defined for Kids


verb con·strict \kən-ˈstrikt\

Definition of constrict for Students




  1. :  to make narrower, smaller, or tighter by drawing together :  squeeze The coldness inside of him had moved upward into his throat constricting it. — Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

Medical Dictionary


verb con·strict \kən-ˈstrikt\

Medical Definition of constrict

  1. 1:  to make narrow or draw together constrict the pupil of the eye

  2. 2:  to subject (as a body part) to compression constrict a nerve

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to become constricted


\-ˈstrik-tiv\play adjective

Seen and Heard

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a brief usually trivial fact

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