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

Phoenix New Times reported that Southwest Key removed its policy saying children could be restrained during an outburst after a 2017 Arizona Department of Health Services investigation. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "Family separations: We talked to 3 people who wanted to work at a child shelter in Mesa," 20 June 2018 Among the appealing chintzy synthesizers, this is an example of how Davis could say so much with only restrained, stuttering notes, never wandering the fretboard needlessly. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Reggie Lucas Dead at 65: 11 of His Essential Cuts as a Jazz Sideman," 21 May 2018 A decade of tight underwriting, particularly on housing debt, has restrained the overall growth of debt, and changed the composition of debt. Michael S. Derby, WSJ, "Young Americans Faring Less Well in Credit Markets, New York Fed Report Finds," 2 Apr. 2019 For most of England’s first match of the tournament, against Tunisia, Owen was restrained to the substitute bench. SI.com, "Remembering Liverpool Legend Michael Owen’s Magnifique 1998 World Cup Summer in France," 2 June 2018 Her boyfriend, Chung Hee, was being restrained by two soldiers and beaten by a third. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award runner-up: "Most Best Happy Korean Bright Star" by Michelle Massie," 2 June 2018 Southwest's policy requires that all such dogs and cats be restrained by a leash or kept in a carrier, the Los Angeles Times reported. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Emotional support animals face restrictions in Southwest airlines, Royal Caribbean cruises, reports say," 15 Aug. 2018 On April 13, Cambridge officers tackled, punched and arrested a 21-year-old black Harvard student who police say had been acting erratically and resisted attempts to restrain him. NBC News, "Black police chiefs grapple with officers' treatment of young black men," 14 May 2018 And in 2014, a 16-year-old student with autism suffered two broken thigh bones after being restrained by a a Binet School teaching assistant. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky's interim education chief calls for state takeover of JCPS," 30 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

13 May 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

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