restrain

verb
re·​strain | \ ri-ˈstrān How to pronounce restrain (audio) \
restrained; restraining; restrains

Definition of restrain

transitive verb

1a : to prevent from doing, exhibiting, or expressing something restrained the child from jumping
b : to limit, restrict, or keep under control try to restrain your anger
2 : to moderate or limit the force, effect, development, or full exercise of restrain trade
3 : to deprive of liberty especially : to place under arrest or restraint

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Other Words from restrain

restrainable \ ri-​ˈstrā-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce restrainable (audio) \ adjective
restrainer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for restrain

restrain, check, curb, bridle mean to hold back from or control in doing something. restrain suggests holding back by force or persuasion from acting or from going to extremes. restrained themselves from laughing check implies restraining or impeding a progress, activity, or impetus. trying to check government spending curb suggests an abrupt or drastic checking. learn to curb your appetite bridle implies keeping under control by subduing or holding in. bridle an impulse to throw the book down

Examples of restrain in a Sentence

He could not restrain the dog from attacking. He could restrain himself no longer. Hospital orderlies needed to restrain the patient. He was restrained and placed in a holding cell. He could barely restrain his anger. The manufacturer took measures to restrain costs.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This year, my rotation of bags has been structured, restrained, pared-back, and yes, small. Alexandra Gurvitch, Vogue, "Why the Hobo Bag Should Make a Comeback in 2019," 24 Dec. 2018 Which is just to say that, in the aggregate, Trump is far from a maniac who the Republican establishment is restraining. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There never were any “adults in the room”," 21 Dec. 2018 The crew restrained the customer and the flight was met by law enforcement in Oklahoma City, where he was removed and taken into custody. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Delta passenger removed from plane for head-butting flight attendant," 21 Sep. 2018 Herrin was restrained on a gurney but somehow escaped after one jail officer left to use the restroom and a second officer was distracted for 10 to 15 seconds. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Escape attempt leads to elevated security status for Kent murder suspect," 12 July 2018 Brett Kavanaugh could add a powerful new voice on the Supreme Court to restrain what government agencies can do, ushering in a new era of tougher scrutiny of federal regulations loathed by businesses. chicagotribune.com, "Trump nominee Kavanaugh could usher in even more business-friendly era on Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 Most notable was a Christmas Day 2016 incident at a Southwest Key facility in which staff improperly restrained a resident, in violation of state rules that plainly forbid use of restraints. Mary Jo Pitzl, azcentral, "What's going on in there? Questions arise about migrant kids' welfare," 27 June 2018 Antitax sentiment powered California’s Proposition 13 vote in 1978 to restrain property taxes and found its consummation in the election of Reagan to the White House in 1980. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Democrats Take Aim at the Reagan Tax Revolution," 15 Feb. 2019 Cooper and Tate, both properly restrained and uninjured, gave police breath samples that showed no presence of alcohol, Dwight said. Drew Broach, NOLA.com, "He wrecked his vehicle on I-55 and ran across the road; two cars hit and killed him," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'restrain.' 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 restrain

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for restrain

Middle English restraynen, from Anglo-French restreindre, from Latin restringere to restrain, restrict, from re- + stringere to bind tight — more at strain

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Statistics for restrain

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for restrain

The first known use of restrain was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for restrain

restrain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of restrain

: to prevent (a person or animal) from doing something
: to prevent (a person or animal) from moving by using physical force
: to keep (something) under control

restrain

verb
re·​strain | \ ri-ˈstrān How to pronounce restrain (audio) \
restrained; restraining

Kids Definition of restrain

1 : to keep from doing something I wanted to speak, but restrained myself.
2 : to keep back : curb He couldn't restrain his laughter.

restrain

transitive verb
re·​strain | \ ri-ˈstrān How to pronounce restrain (audio) \

Legal Definition of restrain

1a : to prevent from doing something — see also restraining order at order sense 3b
b : to limit, restrict, or keep under control
2 : to moderate or limit the force, effect, development, or full exercise of
3 : to deprive of liberty and especially of physical movement

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More from Merriam-Webster on restrain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for restrain

Spanish Central: Translation of restrain

Nglish: Translation of restrain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of restrain for Arabic Speakers

Comments on restrain

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