from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The threat or use of force to prevent, restrict, or dictate the action or thought of others.
  • noun The state of being restricted or confined within prescribed bounds.
  • noun One that restricts, limits, or regulates; a check.
  • noun Embarrassed reserve or reticence; awkwardness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Irresistible force, or its effect; any force or power, physical or moral, which compels to act or to forbear action; compulsion; coercion; restraint.
  • noun Specifically Repression of emotion, or of the expression of one's thoughts and feelings; hence, embarrassment: as, he spoke with constraint.
  • noun In analytical mechanics, the product of the mass of a particle into the square of that velocity which, compounded with the velocity the particle would have if free, would give the actual velocity.
  • noun Synonyms Violence, necessity, coercion. See force, n.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of constraining, or the state of being constrained; that which compels to, or restrains from, action; compulsion; restraint; necessity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Something that constrains.
  • noun mathematics A condition that a solution to an optimization problem must satisfy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the state of being physically constrained
  • noun a device that retards something's motion
  • noun the act of constraining; the threat or use of force to control the thoughts or behavior of others


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English constreinte, from Old French, from feminine past participle of constraindre, to constrain; see constrain.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Middle French constrainte, from verb constraindre (French: contraindre).


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