Constrain meaning

kən-strān'
To constrain is to impose limitations or restrictions on someone or something, or to force yourself or someone else to act in a certain way.

When you limit someone's freedom, this is an example of a situation where you constrain that person.

When you compel someone to follow a specific course of action, this is an example of a situation where you constrain that person.

When you force yourself to act in a certain manner, this is an example of a situation where you constrain your behavior.

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To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige.

Felt constrained to object to his behavior.

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To force into, or hold in, close bounds; confine.
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To force; compel; oblige.

He was constrained to agree.

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To keep within close bounds; to confine.
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To reduce a result in response to limited resources.
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To produce in a forced or inhibited manner.
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To hold back by force; restrain.
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Origin of constrain

  • Middle English constreinen from Old French constraindre constraign- from Latin cōnstringere to restrain, compress com- com- stringere to bind, press together streig- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Middle French constraindre, ultimately from Latin constringō. Compare French contraindre.
    From Wiktionary