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[kuh n-strikt] /kənˈstrɪkt/
verb (used with object)
to draw or press in; cause to contract or shrink; compress.
to slow or stop the natural course or development of:
Greed and aggressiveness constricted the nation's cultural life.
Origin of constrict
late Middle English
1375-1425 for earlier past participle sense; 1725-35 for current senses; late Middle English < Latin constrīctus (past participle of constringere to draw together, tie up), equivalent to con- con- + strīc- (variant stem of stringere to tie; see strict) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
nonconstricted, adjective
nonconstricting, adjective
unconstricted, adjective
well-constricted, adjective
1. cramp, squeeze, bind, tighten.
1. expand. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for constricted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He picked up the notebook, his breath cold in his constricted throat.

    Citadel Algirdas Jonas Budrys
  • It came to her like a blow, almost forcing a gasp from her constricted throat.

    No Clue James Hay
  • The constricted living of flats had not come into existence.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago Amanda Millie Douglas
  • Her emotion moistened her eyes and constricted her throat muscles.

    Old Mr. Wiley

    Fanny Greye La Spina
  • Because you were constricted, physically, psychically, and emotionally.

    This Crowded Earth Robert Bloch
  • He did not know how powerful were the hands that had constricted him there.

    The Border Watch Joseph A. Altsheler
British Dictionary definitions for constricted


verb (transitive)
to make smaller or narrower, esp by contracting at one place
to hold in or inhibit; limit
Word Origin
C18: from Latin constrictus compressed, from constringere to tie up together; see constrain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for constricted



early 15c., from Latin constrictus, past participle of constringere "compress" (see constrain). A direct borrowing from Latin of the same word which, via French, became constrain. Related: Constricted; constricting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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constricted in Medicine

constrict con·strict (kən-strĭkt')
v. con·strict·ed, con·strict·ing, con·stricts
To make smaller or narrower especially by binding or squeezing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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