[ kuhn-streynt ]
See synonyms for: constraintconstraints on

  1. limitation or restriction.

  2. repression of natural feelings and impulses: to practice constraint.

  1. unnatural restraint in manner, conversation, etc.; embarrassment.

  2. something that constrains.

  3. the act of constraining.

  4. the condition of being constrained.

  5. Linguistics. a restriction on the operation of a linguistic rule or the occurrence of a linguistic construction.

Origin of constraint

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

Other words for constraint

Other words from constraint

  • non·con·straint, noun

Words Nearby constraint Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use constraint in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for constraint


/ (kənˈstreɪnt) /

  1. compulsion, force, or restraint

  2. repression or control of natural feelings or impulses

  1. a forced unnatural manner; inhibition

  2. something that serves to constrain; restrictive condition: social constraints kept him silent

  3. 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