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[ri-streynt] /rɪˈstreɪnt/
a restraining action or influence:
freedom from restraint.
Sometimes, restraints. a means of or device for restraining, as a harness for the body.
the act of restraining, holding back, controlling, or checking.
the state or fact of being restrained; deprivation of liberty; confinement.
constraint or reserve in feelings, behavior, etc.
Origin of restraint
1350-1400; Middle English restreinte < Middle French restrainte, noun use of feminine past participle of restraindre to restrain
Related forms
overrestraint, noun
prerestraint, noun
4. circumscription, restriction, imprisonment, incarceration.
4. liberty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for restraint
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So this part of my restraint was doubtless a stretch of the authority given him.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • And this idea of restraint was preying upon him, and he could not throw it off.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • And that there can be nothing more painful than the restraint under which I am kept?

  • He cast a glance about him, his eye, avid with curiosity, held rigidly in restraint.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • And so great was his delight that he cast aside all restraint.

British Dictionary definitions for restraint


the ability to control or moderate one's impulses, passions, etc: to show restraint
the act of restraining or the state of being restrained
something that restrains; restriction
Word Origin
C15: from Old French restreinte, from restreindre to restrain
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 restraint

"action of restraining; means of restraint," early 15c., from Old French restreinte, noun use of fem. past participle of restraindre (see restrain). Sense of "reserve" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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restraint in Medicine

restraint re·straint (rĭ-strānt')

  1. An instrument or a means of restraint to prevent the infliction of harm to self or others, such as a straightjacket.

  2. Control or repression of feelings; constraint.

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