from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of restraining or the condition of being restrained.
  • n. Loss or abridgment of freedom.
  • n. An influence that inhibits or restrains; a limitation.
  • n. An instrument or a means of restraining.
  • n. Control or repression of feelings; constraint.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. something that restrains, ties, fastens or secures
  • n. control or caution; reserve

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of restraining, or of holding back or hindering from motion or action, in any manner; hindrance of the will, or of any action, physical or mental.
  • n. The state of being restrained.
  • n. That which restrains, as a law, a prohibition, or the like; limitation; restriction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of restraining, or of holding back or hindering from action or motion, in any manner; hindrance of any action, physical, moral, or mental.
  • n. The state of being repressed, curbed, or held back in any way; specifically, abridgment of liberty; confinement; detention.
  • n. Repression of extravagance, exaggeration, or vehemence; constraint in manner or style; reserve.
  • n. That which restrains, limits, hinders, or represses; a limitation, restriction, or prohibition.
  • n. Restriction; limitation, as in application or definition.
  • n. In dynamics, an absolute geometrical condition supposed to be precisely fulfilled: thus, a body moving upon an unyielding surface is subject to a restraint.
  • n. Synonyms and Constraint, Coercion, etc. (see force, n), repression, check, stop, curb, hold-back.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a device that retards something's motion
  • n. lack of ornamentation
  • n. the act of controlling by restraining someone or something
  • n. discipline in personal and social activities
  • n. a rule or condition that limits freedom
  • n. the state of being physically constrained


Middle English restreinte, from Old French restrainte, from feminine past participle of restraindre, to restrain; see restrain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.