Thesaurus

constrain

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of constrain

1 to cause (a person) to give in to pressure
  • constrained by conscience to tell only the truth

Synonyms for constrain

Words Related to constrain

Phrases Synonymous with constrain

Near Antonyms for constrain

2 to keep from exceeding a desirable degree or level (as of expression)
  • constrained his anger at the needless interruption

Synonyms for constrain

Words Related to constrain

Near Antonyms for constrain

Antonyms for constrain

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Frequently Asked Questions About constrain

How is the word constrain different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of constrain are coerce, compel, force, and oblige. While all these words mean "to make someone or something yield," constrain suggests the effect of a force or circumstance that limits freedom of action or choice.

constrained by conscience

When could coerce be used to replace constrain?

Although the words coerce and constrain have much in common, coerce suggests overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or pressure.

coerced into signing over the rights

When would compel be a good substitute for constrain?

The meanings of compel and constrain largely overlap; however, compel typically suggests overcoming of resistance or unwillingness by an irresistible force.

compelled to admit my mistake

Where would force be a reasonable alternative to constrain?

While the synonyms force and constrain are close in meaning, force is the general term and implies the overcoming of resistance by the exertion of strength, power, or duress.

forced to flee for their lives

When is oblige a more appropriate choice than constrain?

In some situations, the words oblige and constrain are roughly equivalent. However, oblige implies the constraint of necessity, law, or duty.

felt obliged to go

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Time Traveler for constrain

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Constrain.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/constrain. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on constrain

Dictionary: Definition of constrain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with constrain

Spanish Central: Translation of constrain

Nglish: Translation of constrain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of constrain for Arabic Speakers

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