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

Use rope, bondage tape, or even a scarf or tie to restrain a partner's hands before going down on them. Sophie Saint Thomas, refinery29.com, "The Most Satisfying Sex Positions for Lesbians," 20 June 2019 People circulated video of police using force on people who didn’t appear to pose a visible threat, or appeared to already be restrained. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "Photos: What Hong Kong’s hundreds of thousands of protesters want now," 16 June 2019 He has also been heavily criticized for failing to protect women's and human rights, curbing freedom of speech and attempting to restrain Turkey's secular identity. Motez Bishara, CNN, "Turkish President Erdogan attends wedding of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil," 8 June 2019 The person walking the dog that bit the pair was cited for failure to restrain a dog and the owner was cited for failure to affix the dog license tag to its collar. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale police blotter: Stone arch over driveway on County Line Road is knocked over," 5 June 2019 That law was passed as part of a sweeping set of legislation designed to restrain presidential powers after the Watergate scandal. Daniel Flatley, Fortune, "What Trump Gains by Seeing ‘Emergencies’ All Around Him," 5 June 2019 Dozens of volunteers in fluorescent vests were deployed to restrain demonstrators, and cool rainy weather also appeared to affect enthusiasm. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Rockets from Gaza Strip hit Israel; 4 die at border protest," 31 Mar. 2019 Additionally, Europe is nervous because depends on Turkey to restrain the flow of migrants from conflict in the Middle East in return for aid. David Mchugh And Suzan Fraser, Fox News, "Why Turkey's currency is plunging and what it means," 13 Aug. 2018 Police were eventually able to restrain O’Brien by striking him with their batons to get him on the ground, the ruling said. J.d. Capelouto, BostonGlobe.com, "Federal judge tosses case of man on ketamine who sued Bellingham police after wild melee at station," 29 June 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

24 Jun 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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