- limitation or restriction.
- repression of natural feelings and impulses: to practice constraint.
- unnatural restraint in manner, conversation, etc.; embarrassment.
- something that constrains.
- the act of constraining.
- the condition of being constrained.
- Linguistics. a restriction on the operation of a linguistic rule or the occurrence of a linguistic construction.
Origin of constraint
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for constraint
In short, Mr. Obama feels no constraint in faithfully executing the laws as written by the Congress.The ‘Defining Issue of Our Time’ Is Obama’s Constitutional Excesses
January 9, 2014
Gravity is transformed from the constraint that holds us dully to Earth into the power that lets us fly.Skiing is Love at First Swoosh
March 16, 2013
The capital gains rate will never be a driver of investment, only a constraint upon it.Capital Gains: Answering Krugman and Bernstein
January 23, 2012
Well, the other constraint is the amount of information available.The Other Social Network
September 29, 2010
That seems obvious, but the constraint it puts on good policy is enormous.Does Obama Have a Plan B?
Adam S. Posen
March 29, 2009
The lawyer's face sobered, and his tone as he answered was tinged with constraint.Within the Law
But then there was constraint in the correspondence—it was submitted to her mother.Night and Morning, Complete
But, placid as she was, my mother was authoritative, and could not endure any kind of constraint.My Double Life
Vere felt that somehow her eager suggestion had deepened the constraint.A Spirit in Prison
At length the clerk came up to him with awkward manners and a look of constraint.The Christian
- compulsion, force, or restraint
- repression or control of natural feelings or impulses
- a forced unnatural manner; inhibition
- something that serves to constrain; restrictive conditionsocial constraints kept him silent
- linguistics any very general restriction on a sentence formation rule
Word Origin and History for constraint
late 14c., "distress, oppression," from Old French constreinte "binding, constraint, compulsion" (Modern French contrainte), fem. noun from constreint, past participle of constreindre, from Vulgar Latin *constrinctus, from Latin constrictus (see constrain). Meaning "coercion, compulsion" is from 1530s.