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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.
1350-1400; Middle English restreinte < Middle French restrainte, noun use of feminine past participle of restraindre to restrain
Related forms
overrestraint, noun
prerestraint, noun
4. circumscription, restriction, imprisonment, incarceration.
4. liberty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for restraints
  • 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 hours.
  • The benefit is that you can work free of intellectually-restrictive career-ladder restraints.
  • All that makes existence valuable to any one, depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people.
  • But the inventions of paper and the press have put an end to all these restraints.
  • They all lie under the restraints of the same sacred profession.
  • The familiar essay is easier to write than the short story, but it imposes equal restraints on a scrupulous author.
  • The shuttle went into a flat spin as it descended, flinging the astronauts sideways against their restraints.
  • And many cancers develop from senescent cells, by shaking off their restraints and growing out of control.
British Dictionary definitions for restraints


the ability to control or moderate one's impulses, passions, etc: to show restraint
the act of restraining or the state of being restrained
something that restrains; restriction
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for restraints



"action of restraining; means of restraint," early 15c., from Old French restreinte, noun use of fem. past participle of restraindre (see restrain). Sense of "reserve" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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restraints in Medicine

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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