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

  • noun The act of restraining.
  • noun The condition of being restrained, especially the condition of losing one's freedom.
  • noun An influence that inhibits or restrains.
  • noun A device or other means of restraining movement.
  • noun Control of the expression of one's feelings; constraint.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of restraining, or of holding back or hindering from action or motion, in any manner; hindrance of any action, physical, moral, or mental.
  • noun The state of being repressed, curbed, or held back in any way; specifically, abridgment of liberty; confinement; detention.
  • noun Repression of extravagance, exaggeration, or vehemence; constraint in manner or style; reserve.
  • noun That which restrains, limits, hinders, or represses; a limitation, restriction, or prohibition.
  • noun Restriction; limitation, as in application or definition.
  • noun In dynamics, an absolute geometrical condition supposed to be precisely fulfilled: thus, a body moving upon an unyielding surface is subject to a restraint.
  • noun Synonyms and Constraint, Coercion, etc. (see force, n), repression, check, stop, curb, hold-back.

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

  • noun The act or process of restraining, or of holding back or hindering from motion or action, in any manner; hindrance of the will, or of any action, physical or mental.
  • noun The state of being restrained.
  • noun That which restrains, as a law, a prohibition, or the like; limitation; restriction.

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

  • noun countable something that restrains, ties, fastens or secures
  • noun uncountable control or caution; reserve

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

  • noun a device that retards something's motion
  • noun lack of ornamentation
  • noun the act of controlling by restraining someone or something
  • noun discipline in personal and social activities
  • noun a rule or condition that limits freedom
  • noun the state of being physically constrained


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

[Middle English restreinte, from Old French restrainte, from feminine past participle of restraindre, to restrain; see restrain.]


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