- to hold back from action; keep in check or under control; repress: to restrain one's temper.
- to deprive of liberty, as by arrest or the like.
- to limit or hamper the activity, growth, or effect of: to restrain trade with Cuba.
Origin of restrain
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to strain again.
Origin of re-strain
Examples from the Web for restrain
Three off-duty cops working as security guards apprehended Saylor and proceeded to restrain him in an ultimately fatal fashion.Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls
December 4, 2014
What about allowing a school to manually or "mechanically" restrain students?Bill Maher Finds the Worst Congressman in America
Ana Marie Cox
October 8, 2014
The other detectives had to restrain her to keep her from striking him again.Meet 'The Queen of Thieves' Marm Mandelbaum, New York City's First Mob Boss
J. North Conway
September 7, 2014
To some observers, this is a classic Red State action to try to restrain the growth of renewable energy.Solar Power Burns Old Utilities’ Business Models
April 24, 2014
After hearing yelling from the back of the plane, a group of other passengers managed to tackle and restrain the unruly Suggs.Plane-Related Incidents Reach New Level of Weird
April 16, 2014
Has this fearful pestilence no power to restrain the appetites and passions of the people?Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Yet the effort she made, and with success, to restrain the show of her anger, was far from slight.Weighed and Wanting
Mary made no effort to restrain the smile caused by the costume of Mr. Griggs.
The railroad can do it, to restrain its employees from striking.
It was all he could do to restrain himself from roaring aloud in his rage.Casanova's Homecoming
- to hold (someone) back from some action, esp by force
- to deprive (someone) of liberty, as by imprisonment
- to limit or restrict
Word Origin and History for restrain
mid-14c., from stem of Old French restreindre "press, push together; curb, bridle; bandage" (12c.), from Latin restringere "draw back tightly, confine, check" (see restriction). Related: Restrained; restraining.
That which we restrain we keep within limits; that which we restrict we keep within certain definite limits; that which we repress we try to put out of existence. [Century Dictionary, 1902]