Restraint synonym


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[ ri-streynt ]

/ rɪˈstreɪnt /


a restraining action or influence: freedom from restraint.

Sometimes restraints.a means of or device for restraining, as a harness for the body.

the act of restraining, holding back, controlling, or checking.

the state or fact of being restrained; deprivation of liberty; confinement.

constraint or reserve in feelings, behavior, etc.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of restraint

1350–1400; Middle English restreinte<Middle French restrainte, noun use of feminine past participle of restraindre to restrain



Words nearby restraint

restr., restrain, restrained, restrainer, restraining order, restraint, restraint of trade, restraint order, restrict, restricted, restricted class Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Words related to restraint

control, restriction, constraint, self-restraint, moderation, caution, self-discipline, embargo, prohibition, reduction, limit, ban, curb, self-possession, coolness, self-denial, coercion, self-government, repression, compulsion

How to use restraint in a sentence

  • It’s navigating the balance between amazing graphics and technical restraints and finding a way to design within these limits.

    Epic Games’ Insane Video Game Graphics Demo Explained in Simple Terms|Aaron Frank|May 24, 2020|Singularity Hub 

  • The restraint is banned according to NYPD regulations but it is not illegal.

    After No Indictment for Eric Garner Killer, Is NYC the Next Ferguson?|Jacob Siegel|December 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • The giant bear flicked his ears and, with unmistakable restraint, swung away and disappeared into the trees.

    What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear|Doug Peacock|November 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • He would have probably done both in much the same way: with elegance and restraint, yet radically.

    How Oscar de la Renta Created First Lady Fashion|Raquel Laneri|October 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • The scene is written with a matter-of-fact restraint that lends it great power.

    Nigeria’s Larger-Than-Life Nobel Laureate Chronicles a Fascinating Life|Chimamanda Adichie|August 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Yet responses so far have been muted, with some activists calling for restraint.

    The Uganda Ruling is Good For Everyone But Gays|Jay Michaelson|August 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • This is often of great advantage, as the strength of repose is expressed to a great degree in restraint of movement.

    Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick

  • “This accompanied it,” said Winifred, with a restraint that might have warned her hearer of the passion it strove to conceal.

    The Red Year|Louis Tracy

  • Freedom and courtesy were so well balanced in this society, that little restraint was put upon conversation.

    Skipper Worse|Alexander Lange Kielland

  • The restraint laid upon her was becoming more than she could bear, and she rebelled against it.

    The Cromptons|Mary J. Holmes

  • In time of trouble families generally like to be alone, all in all to each other; and a visitor is felt a constant restraint.

    The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness|Florence Hartley

British Dictionary definitions for restraint



the ability to control or moderate one's impulses, passions, etcto show restraint

the act of restraining or the state of being restrained

something that restrains; restriction

Word Origin for restraint

C15: from Old French restreinte, from restreindre to restrain

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

Medical definitions for restraint


An instrument or a means of restraint to prevent the infliction of harm to self or others, such as a straightjacket.

Control or repression of feelings; constraint.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.


Restraint synonyms


(Law) A period established by statute during which a lawsuit or criminal prosecution must be initiated.


(Slang, uncountable) The state of being cool, as in good or pleasing.



Something that stands in the way of or holds up progress:


The definition of a curb is a concrete border that creates a gutter along a street.


The definition of coercion refers to the act of persuading or convincing someone to do something using force or other unethical means.


(Usually in plural) a rule restricting behaviour or action


A cautious action; a precaution:


Restraint of one's emotions, desires, or inclinations; self-control.


Authority or ability to manage or direct:


Self control is defined as the ability to manage your actions, feelings and emotions.


A reservation of public land:


Reticence is being reserved, quiet or reluctant.

artistic economy


The portion of earned wages that an employer deducts to cover income tax purposes and forwards to the government.


A period of time without speech or noise.

stress repression


The quality or state of being formal


(R.C.Ch.) Abstention from flesh meat on certain designated days


Temperance is defined as showing restraint in eating or drinking, and especially avoiding alcohol.


The act of refusing to recognize unpleasant facts even when presented by one's self.

constrained manner


(--- Biology) The condition in which or the process by which an enzyme, for example, is inhibited.


The act of declining to vote on a particular issue. [First attested in the late 19th century.]


The act of censoring one's own work or what one says without overt pressure from any specific party or institution of authority, often for fear of sanctions.


(Psychology) The unconscious exclusion of painful impulses, desires, or fears from the conscious mind.


(Dated, law) Any of various brief statments of case law made before modern reporting of legal cases.


The amount by which something is lessened or diminished:


The amount by which something decreases.


Prohibition is a law or order forbidding something, or is the condition of forbidding something, or was a time in the U.S. during the 1920s and early 1930s when alcohol was illegal.


The definition of a check is a sudden stop or a person or thing that restrains or controls.


(Sports) The act of impeding another player in violation of the rules, as when a player impedes the progress of an opponent not in possession of the puck in ice hockey.


The definition of a restriction is a limitation.


A narrow strap of leather attached to each end of the bit in the mouth of a horse, and held by the rider or driver to control the animal


The isolation of a nation, area, city, or harbor by hostile ships or forces in order to prevent the entrance and exit of traffic and commerce.


A condition of methodical or prescribed arrangement among component parts such that proper functioning or appearance is achieved:


Compulsion by threat or violence; coercion:


The definition of force is strength or power.


The use of physical force, especially physical force utilized with malice and/or the attempt to harm someone. Some courts have ruled that in labor disputes, violence includes picketing with false information on the placards, in an attempt to harm a business.


The policy or practice of stockpiling nuclear weapons to deter another nation from making a nuclear attack


A set of rules or methods, as those regulating the practice of a church or monastic order.


The definition of a definition is a statement of what a word or phrase means.


The act by which something is tempered.


A metaphor used to describe a range of situations seen as (unpleasantly?) confining or restricting.


The state or quality of being lax.



The condition of being free from oppressive restriction or control by a government or other power.


A permission granted by government to perform an act or service regulated by law (for example, a license to fish or to practice law).

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Frequently Asked Questions About restrain

How does the verb restrain contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of restrain are bridle, check, and curb. While all these words mean "to hold back from or control in doing something," restrain suggests holding back by force or persuasion from acting or from going to extremes.

restrained themselves from laughing

When could bridle be used to replace restrain?

The words bridle and restrain can be used in similar contexts, but bridle implies keeping under control by subduing or holding in.

bridle an impulse to throw the book down

When can check be used instead of restrain?

The words check and restrain are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, check implies restraining or impeding a progress, activity, or impetus.

trying to check government spending

Where would curb be a reasonable alternative to restrain?

Although the words curb and restrain have much in common, curb suggests an abrupt or drastic checking.

learn to curb your appetite



Katherine's Dock, lying overshadowed and black like a quiet pool amongst rocky crags, through the venerable and sympathetic London Docks, with not a single line of rails in the whole of their area and the aroma of spices lingering between its warehouses, with their far-famed wine- cellars - down through the interesting group of West India Docks, the fine docks at Blackwall, on past the Galleons Reach entrance of the Victoria and Albert Docks, right down to the vast gloom of the great basins in Tilbury, each of those places of restraintfor ships has its own peculiar physiognomy, its own expression.

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The fear and restraintwhich brooded amongst the denizens of the air began to affect all life.

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"So far there is no positive brain disease; and there is accordingly no sort of reason for placing him under restraint. It is essentially a difficult and a doubtful case.

excuse for my long absence, and take my part in the conversation, keeping the strictest guard on every word that escapes me, without betraying any appearance of restraint in my manner.

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No harm could be done to any one but myself if I let my heart loose again, for the little time that was left me, from the cold cruelty of restraint which necessity had forced me to inflict upon it, and took my farewell of the scenes which were associated with the brief dream-time of my happiness and my love.

There was no restraint on the disposal of THEIR evening, and I felt the restraint on the disposal of mine all the more painfully from observing it.

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In every frontier settlement there are men who have come there to escape restraint. Cutter was one of the `fast set' of Black Hawk business men.

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What I did next I scarcely know, for I had never before found myself in such a position; but I believe that I broke all restraints, and made the old man feel thoroughly ashamed of himself--Thedora helping me in the task, and well-nigh turning him neck and crop out of the tenement.

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There are causes of differences within our immediate contemplation, of the tendency of which, even under the restraintsof a federal constitution, we have had sufficient experience to enable us to form a judgment of what might be expected if those restraintswere removed.

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Under this head might be included the particular restraints imposed on the authority of the States, and certain powers of the judicial department; but the former are reserved for a distinct class, and the latter will be particularly examined when we arrive at the structure and organization of the government.

Among the restraints imposed by the Union of the Netherlands on its members, one is, that they shall not establish imposts disadvantageous to their neighbors, without the general permission.

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Ellmother burst out--and then, when it was too late, remembered the conventional restraintsappropriate to the occasion.

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The hard obstruction of the cave-wall, the sharp nudge of his mother's nose, the smashing stroke of her paw, the hunger unappeased of several famines, had borne in upon him that all was not freedom in the world, that to life there was limitations and restraints. These limitations and restraints were laws.

And after such classification he avoided the things that hurt, the restrictions and restraints, in order to enjoy the satisfactions and the remunerations of life.

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Sours: //

Synonym restraint

antonyms for restraint


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

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How to use restraint in a sentence

This is often of great advantage, as the strength of repose is expressed to a great degree in restraint of movement.


“This accompanied it,” said Winifred, with a restraint that might have warned her hearer of the passion it strove to conceal.


Freedom and courtesy were so well balanced in this society, that little restraint was put upon conversation.


The restraint laid upon her was becoming more than she could bear, and she rebelled against it.



Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.



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