[ kuh n-streynd ]
/ kənˈstreɪnd /


forced, compelled, or obliged: a constrained confession.
stiff or unnatural; uneasy or embarrassed: a constrained manner.

Origin of constrained

First recorded in 1565–75; constrain + -ed2

Related forms

con·strain·ed·ly [kuh n-strey-nid-lee] /kənˈstreɪ nɪd li/, adverbun·con·strained, adjective

Definition for constrained (2 of 2)


[ kuhn-streyn ]
/ kənˈstreɪn /

verb (used with object)

to force, compel, or oblige: He was constrained to admit the offense.
to confine forcibly, as by bonds.
to repress or restrain: Cold weather constrained the plant's growth.

Origin of constrain

1275–1325; Middle English constrei(g)nen < Anglo-French, Middle French constrei(g)n- (stem of constreindre) < Latin constringere. See con-, strain1

Related forms

Can be confused

coerce compel constrain force oblige Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for constrained

British Dictionary definitions for constrained (1 of 2)


/ (kənˈstreɪnd) /


embarrassed, unnatural, or forceda constrained smile

Derived Forms

constrainedly (kənˈstreɪnɪdlɪ), adverb

British Dictionary definitions for constrained (2 of 2)


/ (kənˈstreɪn) /

verb (tr)

to compel or force, esp by persuasion, circumstances, etc; oblige
to restrain by or as if by force; confine

Derived Forms

constrainer, noun

Word Origin for constrain

C14: from Old French constreindre, from Latin constringere to bind together, from stringere to bind
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