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 The report on Friday came a day after the Senate passed a resolution aimed at restraining Mr. Trump’s war-making powers with Iran. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, "White House Memo Justifying Suleimani Strike Cites No Imminent Threat," 14 Feb. 2020 Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally split on Thursday as Senate Republicans joined Democrats to restrain President Donald Trump from using military force against Iran without explicit congressional authorization. Katie Surma, azcentral, "With Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's support, Senate passes resolution restraining Trump on Iran," 13 Feb. 2020 Graham on Wednesday said Trump should've restrained from posting about an ongoing case. TheWeek, "Lindsey Graham says Trump shouldn't have tweeted about Stone sentencing, but he won't call on Barr to testify about reversal," 12 Feb. 2020 After years of flirting with bankruptcy, Tesla is posting more consistent profits, cutting costs, growing revenue, and restraining its chief executive Elon Musk from threatening the company’s solvency. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "We’re about to enter a world where Tesla is the cheaper electric car," 29 Jan. 2020 From activists on the street to presidential candidates on the debate stage, a new consensus has emerged that the nation must shrink its military budget and restrain the executive branch’s power to launch unwinnable foreign conflicts. David Adler, The New Republic, "To End Forever War, End the Dollar’s Global Dominance," 28 Jan. 2020 Mercantilists like Mr Trump manage trade in two ways: either by restraining foreigners’ sales to America, or by encouraging them to buy more American goods. The Economist, "Free exchange The costs of America’s lurch towards managed trade," 25 Jan. 2020 Rather than getting him to appreciate America's traditional role and alliances, Trump began to tune out and eventually push away the experts who believed their duty was to protect the country by restraining his more dangerous impulses. Carol D. Leonnig, Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "‘You’re a bunch of dopes and babies’: Inside Trump’s stunning tirade against generals," 17 Jan. 2020 Investigators said a second deputy had to jump to help restrain Pinkney. CBS News, "Deputy tases 70-year-old woman three times while trying to make arrest at her home," 30 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for restrain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for restrain

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Restrain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/restrain. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for restrain

restrain

verb
How to pronounce restrain (audio)

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.
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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Comments on restrain

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