restraint

noun re·straint \ ri-ˈstrānt \
|Updated on: 13 Jun 2018
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

  1. Make sure the child safety restraint is in place.

  2. The prisoner was placed in restraints.

  3. His angry response showed a lack of restraint.

  4. The government has acted with restraint in dealing with this crisis.

Recent Examples of restraint from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'restraint.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of restraint

Middle English, from Anglo-French restreinte, from restreindre


RESTRAINT Defined for English Language Learners

restraint

  • : a way of limiting, controlling, or stopping something

  • : a device that limits a person's movement

  • : control over your emotions or behavior


RESTRAINT Defined for Kids

restraint

noun re·straint \ ri-ˈstrānt \
1 : the act of stopping or holding back : the state of being stopped or held back
2 : a force or influence that stops or holds back
3 : control over thoughts or feelings
  • You're angry, but show restraint.

Medical Dictionary

restraint

noun re·straint \ ri-ˈstrānt \
: a device that restricts movement
  • restraints such as straitjackets for violent patients

Law Dictionary

restraint

noun re·straint \ ri-ˈstrānt \
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)


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up restraint? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to emit the high shrill tone of bagpipes

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a-closeup-of-a-sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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