Synonyms & Antonyms of constrict

1 to become smaller in size or volume through the drawing together of particles of matter
  • the vessel constricted, thereby reducing the flow of blood

Synonyms for constrict

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Antonyms for constrict

2 to reduce in size or volume by or as if by pressing parts or members together
  • constricted the opening with a clamp

Synonyms for constrict

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Antonyms for constrict

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Frequently Asked Questions About constrict

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

Some common synonyms of constrict are compress, condense, contract, deflate, and shrink. While all these words mean "to decrease in bulk or volume," constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter.

the throat is constricted by a tight collar

Where would compress be a reasonable alternative to constrict?

Although the words compress and constrict have much in common, compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance.

compressed cotton into bales

When is condense a more appropriate choice than constrict?

The words condense and constrict can be used in similar contexts, but condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content.

condense the essay into a paragraph

When could contract be used to replace constrict?

In some situations, the words contract and constrict are roughly equivalent. However, contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length.

caused her muscles to contract

In what contexts can deflate take the place of constrict?

The words deflate and constrict are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas.

deflate the balloon

When might shrink be a better fit than constrict?

The meanings of shrink and constrict largely overlap; however, shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions.

the sweater will shrink when washed

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Time Traveler for constrict

Time Traveler

The first known use of constrict was in 1732

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Cite this Entry

“Constrict.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on constrict

Nglish: Translation of constrict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of constrict for Arabic Speakers


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