• synonyms


[kuh n-streynd]
See more synonyms for constrained on Thesaurus.com
  1. forced, compelled, or obliged: a constrained confession.
  2. stiff or unnatural; uneasy or embarrassed: a constrained manner.
Show More

Origin of constrained

First recorded in 1565–75; constrain + -ed2
Related formscon·strain·ed·ly [kuh n-strey-nid-lee] /kənˈstreɪ nɪd li/, adverbun·con·strained, adjective


verb (used with object)
  1. to force, compel, or oblige: He was constrained to admit the offense.
  2. to confine forcibly, as by bonds.
  3. to repress or restrain: Cold weather constrained the plant's growth.
Show More

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 formscon·strain·a·ble, adjectivecon·strain·er, nouncon·strain·ing·ly, adverbnon·con·strain·ing, adjectiveun·con·strain·a·ble, adjectiveun·con·strain·ing, adjective
Can be confusedcoerce compel constrain force oblige


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. coerce. 2. check, bind.


2. free.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for constrained

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for constrained


  1. embarrassed, unnatural, or forceda constrained smile
Show More
Derived Formsconstrainedly (kənˈstreɪnɪdlɪ), adverb


verb (tr)
  1. to compel or force, esp by persuasion, circumstances, etc; oblige
  2. to restrain by or as if by force; confine
Show More
Derived Formsconstrainer, noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for constrained



early 14c., constreyen, from stem of Old French constreindre (Modern French contraindre) "restrain, control," from Latin constringere "to bind together, tie tightly, fetter, shackle, chain," from com- "together" (see com-) + stringere "to draw tight" (see strain (v.)). Related: Constrained; constraining.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper