[ kuhn-streynt ]
/ kənˈstreɪnt /


Nearby words

  1. constitutionally,
  2. constitutive,
  3. constr.,
  4. constrain,
  5. constrained,
  6. constrict,
  7. constriction,
  8. constriction ring,
  9. constrictive,
  10. constrictive pericarditis

Origin of constraint

1350–1400; Middle English constreinte < Middle French, noun use of feminine past participle of constreindre; see constrain

Related formsnon·con·straint, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for constraint

British Dictionary definitions for constraint


/ (kənˈstreɪnt) /


compulsion, force, or restraint
repression or control of natural feelings or impulses
a forced unnatural manner; inhibition
something that serves to constrain; restrictive conditionsocial constraints kept him silent
linguistics any very general restriction on a sentence formation rule
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 constraint



late 14c., "distress, oppression," from Old French constreinte "binding, constraint, compulsion" (Modern French contrainte), fem. noun from constreint, past participle of constreindre, from Vulgar Latin *constrinctus, from Latin constrictus (see constrain). Meaning "coercion, compulsion" is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper