follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

constraint

[kuh n-streynt] /kənˈstreɪnt/
noun
1.
limitation or restriction.
2.
repression of natural feelings and impulses:
to practice constraint.
3.
unnatural restraint in manner, conversation, etc.; embarrassment.
4.
something that constrains.
5.
the act of constraining.
6.
the condition of being constrained.
7.
Linguistics. a restriction on the operation of a linguistic rule or the occurrence of a linguistic construction.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English constreinte < Middle French, noun use of feminine past participle of constreindre; see constrain
Related forms
nonconstraint, noun
Synonyms
1. force, obligation, pressure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for constraints
  • Officials say they are frustrated by political constraints.
  • The reality is that these priorities cannot always be met, and one of the main constraints is financial.
  • Copper prices have also been boosted by supply constraints.
  • Our problem is to ensure that each judge obeys the constraints but without our knowing how that judge voted.
  • Each suit is developed for a particular mission scenario, so sometimes the constraints are specific for that mission.
  • One of the many paradoxes of human creativity is that it seems to benefit from constraints.
  • It asks how people respond to incentives, how they respond to constraints.
  • First, lawmakers' term limits do not exacerbate fiscal constraints on state higher education.
  • In this newspaper's view, the fewer constraints that are placed on free speech the better.
  • Judgment as to the acceptability of those costs requires an understanding of environmental opportunities and constraints.
British Dictionary definitions for constraints

constraint

/kənˈstreɪnt/
noun
1.
compulsion, force, or restraint
2.
repression or control of natural feelings or impulses
3.
a forced unnatural manner; inhibition
4.
something that serves to constrain; restrictive condition: social constraints kept him silent
5.
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for constraints

constraint

n.

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
Cite This Source
constraints in Technology

A language for solving constraints using value inference.
["CONSTRAINTS: A Language for Expressing Almost-Hierarchical Descriptions", G.J. Sussman et al, Artif Intell 14(1):1-39 (Aug 1980)].
(1994-11-01)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for constraint

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for constraints

13
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with constraints