from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object. See Synonyms at force.
- transitive v. To keep within close bounds; confine: a life that had been constrained by habit to the same few activities and friends.
- transitive v. To inhibit or restrain; hold back: "Failing to control the growth of international debt will also constrain living standards” ( Ronald Brownstein).
- transitive v. To produce in a forced or inhibited manner.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. to force physically, by strong persuasion or pressurizing; to compel; to oblige
- v. to keep within close bounds; to confine
- v. to reduce a result in response to limited resources
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To secure by bonds; to chain; to bond or confine; to hold tightly; to constringe.
- transitive v. To bring into a narrow compass; to compress.
- transitive v. To hold back by force; to restrain; to repress.
- transitive v. To compel; to force; to necessitate; to oblige.
- transitive v. To violate; to ravish.
- transitive v. To produce in such a manner as to give an unnatural effect.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In general, to exert force, physical or moral, upon, either in urging to action or in restraining from it; press; urge; drive; restrain.
- Hence To urge with irresistible power, or with a force sufficient to produce the effect; compel; necessitate; oblige.
- To confine or hold by force; restrain from escape or action; repress or compress; bind.
- To check; repress; hinder; deter.
- To force.
- In mech.: To prevent the occurrence of (motion), except in a particular direction: as, the relative motions of the parts of any machine are always constrained.
- To prevent the operation of the motion of (a material point or body), except in a particular and definite manner: as, to constrain a part of a mechanism.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. hold back
- v. restrict
Middle English constreinen, from Old French constraindre, constraign-, from Latin cōnstringere, to restrain, compress : com-, com- + stringere, to bind, press together; see streig- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle French constraindre, ultimately from Latin constringō. Compare French contraindre. (Wiktionary)