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.

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

overrestraint, noun
prerestraint, noun

4. circumscription, restriction, imprisonment, incarceration.

4. liberty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
restraint (rɪˈstreɪnt)
1.  the ability to control or moderate one's impulses, passions, etc: to show restraint
2.  the act of restraining or the state of being restrained
3.  something that restrains; restriction
[C15: from Old French restreinte, from restreindre to restrain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"action of restraining," c.1400, from O.Fr. restrainte, prop. fem. pp. of restraindre (see restrain). Meaning "means of restraint" is recorded from early 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

restraint re·straint (rĭ-strānt')

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

  2. 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.
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Example sentences
When the restraints of the society are removed this behavior is expected.
The market freed people from social restraints and divisions, in a sense.
Lawyers and accountants have all kinds of restraints, regulations, and work
The benefit is that you can work free of intellectually-restrictive
  career-ladder restraints.
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