restraint

noun

re·​straint ri-ˈstrānt How to pronounce restraint (audio)
1
a
: an act of restraining : the state of being restrained
b(1)
: a means of restraining : a restraining force or influence
(2)
: a device that restricts movement
a restraint for children riding in cars
2
: a control over the expression of one's emotions or thoughts

Examples of restraint in a Sentence

Make sure the child safety restraint is in place. The prisoner was placed in restraints. His angry response showed a lack of restraint. The government has acted with restraint in dealing with this crisis.
Recent Examples on the Web County patients wind up in mechanical restraints at high rates, partly because of their frustration at being locked in for months or years. Alex Barnard, The Mercury News, 10 Apr. 2024 Compensating for Scott’s restraint is the camera, a wildly expressive agent that quickly establishes itself as the show’s biggest character (and only true artist). Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2024 Then at the 20-minute mark, the band receded to a hush as Loueke struck the strings with soft, meticulous notes, accompanied by rhythmic clicking scatting, a moment of sheer exhilaration by restraint, as Blanchard, decked out in glittery sneakers, shuffling around in admiration. Journal Sentinel, 3 Apr. 2024 Acknowledge your restraints and then plan around them. Cheryl Robinson, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 His role required restraint, something that didn’t come easily for a go-to scorer. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Yet the Israeli government has continually defied U.S. demands to act with restraint, causing a humanitarian catastrophe that has already cost more than 30,000 Palestinian lives. Joost Hiltermann, Foreign Affairs, 28 Mar. 2024 Meade was in restraints while being escorted out of the hospital, Tewalt said. Dalia Faheid, CNN, 22 Mar. 2024 The new country was forced to pay what would be at least $21 billion in today’s dollars to avoid war and further economic restraint and to maintain its independence. Char Adams, NBC News, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'restraint.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French restreinte, from restreindre

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of restraint was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near restraint

Cite this Entry

“Restraint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/restraint. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

restraint

noun
re·​straint ri-ˈstrānt How to pronounce restraint (audio)
1
: the act of restraining : the state of being restrained
held in restraint
2
: a restraining force or influence
3
: control over one's behavior
act with restraint

Medical Definition

restraint

noun
re·​straint ri-ˈstrānt How to pronounce restraint (audio)
: a device that restricts movement
restraints such as straitjackets for violent patients

Legal Definition

restraint

noun
re·​straint ri-ˈstrānt How to pronounce restraint (audio)
1
a
: an act or fact of restraining see also prior restraint
b
: the state of being restrained
2
a
: a means of restraining
b
: a device that restricts movement (as of prisoners or violent psychiatric patients)

More from Merriam-Webster on restraint

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!