Synonyms & Antonyms of restrain

1 to keep from exceeding a desirable degree or level (as of expression)
  • the victim's family members were unable to restrain their emotions upon hearing the verdict

Synonyms for restrain

Words Related to restrain

Near Antonyms for restrain

Antonyms for restrain

2 to take or keep under one's control by authority of law
  • the suspect was restrained and taken to an undisclosed location

Synonyms for restrain

Words Related to restrain

Near Antonyms for restrain

Antonyms for restrain

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Frequently Asked Questions About restrain

How does the verb restrain contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of restrain are bridle, check, and curb. While all these words 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

When could bridle be used to replace restrain?

The words bridle and restrain can be used in similar contexts, but bridle implies keeping under control by subduing or holding in.

bridle an impulse to throw the book down

When can check be used instead of restrain?

The words check and restrain are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, check implies restraining or impeding a progress, activity, or impetus.

trying to check government spending

Where would curb be a reasonable alternative to restrain?

Although the words curb and restrain have much in common, curb suggests an abrupt or drastic checking.

learn to curb your appetite

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Time Traveler for restrain

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near restrain




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Cite this Entry

“Restrain.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on restrain

Nglish: Translation of restrain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of restrain for Arabic Speakers


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