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[kuh n-strikt] /kənˈstrɪkt/
verb (used with object)
to draw or press in; cause to contract or shrink; compress.
to slow or stop the natural course or development of:
Greed and aggressiveness constricted the nation's cultural life.
Origin of constrict
late Middle English
1375-1425 for earlier past participle sense; 1725-35 for current senses; late Middle English < Latin constrīctus (past participle of constringere to draw together, tie up), equivalent to con- con- + strīc- (variant stem of stringere to tie; see strict) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
nonconstricted, adjective
nonconstricting, adjective
unconstricted, adjective
well-constricted, adjective
1. cramp, squeeze, bind, tighten.
1. expand. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for constrict
  • Unfortunately other arteries get affected and they start to constrict.
  • Levees constrict a river's path and raise its water level, which causes higher, faster flow.
  • Greenhouses work because they constrict convection currents, which carry away the heat.
  • And do not wear clothes that constrict the waist or abdomen.
  • Preferably something that uncovers the arms and doesn't constrict the body.
  • Both substances constrict blood vessels and transmit nerve impulses.
  • Close this nation, cow it, constrict it and you unravel its magic.
  • The real advance in acute medications is that they are not designed to constrict blood vessels, as many current medications do.
  • Too much rule of law and transparency would constrict the ruling clique's own freedom of maneuver.
  • He is unconnected with the tired old fights that constrict our politics.
British Dictionary definitions for constrict


verb (transitive)
to make smaller or narrower, esp by contracting at one place
to hold in or inhibit; limit
Word Origin
C18: from Latin constrictus compressed, from constringere to tie up together; see constrain
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
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Word Origin and History for constrict

early 15c., from Latin constrictus, past participle of constringere "compress" (see constrain). A direct borrowing from Latin of the same word which, via French, became constrain. Related: Constricted; constricting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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constrict in Medicine

constrict con·strict (kən-strĭkt')
v. con·strict·ed, con·strict·ing, con·stricts
To make smaller or narrower especially by binding or squeezing.

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