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tr.v. con·strained, con·strain·ing, con·strains
a. To keep within certain limits; confine or limit: "Legislators ... used the power of the purse to constrain the size of the military" (Julian E. Zelizer).
b. To inhibit or restrain; hold back: "She noticed her mother blushing and acting somewhat constrained in her conversation with the grandmother" (David Huddle).
2. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object to his behavior.
3. To produce in a forced or inhibited manner: "This smile seemed to touch something off in her ... and playfully she constrained her own roguish smile" (Naeem Murr).

[Middle English constreinen, from Old French constraindre, constraign-, from Latin cōnstringere, to restrain, compress : com-, com- + stringere, to bind, press together; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]

con·strain′a·ble adj.
con·strain′ed·ly (-strā′nĭd-lē) adv.
con·strain′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


able to be constrained
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
McDowell attempts to reclaim the subjective without losing the world by reinterpreting Kant's notion of intuitions in order to do justice to the sense in which our conceptual capacities are both free and constrainable. This concern for the a sort of freedom required by truly conceptual activity is intimately tied to the broader question of agency, because if we cannot make sense of how we can reflect upon the adequacy of our modes of thought, we cannot gain clarity on the conditions for human agency in general--for instance, how we can resolve to assess our modes of participation in the world, to exact better and worse such modes, or to critique certain exercises of agency.
Privacy must be constrainable, as in the cases of conditional privacy and revocability.
The underlying reality is two-fold: first, that mankind has to live for the rest of history with the availability of infinite destructive power, as currently exemplified by nuclear knowledge; second, that because major war is not a constrainable activity it can never again happen between advanced powers on crucial issues without some nuclear-weapon risk, whether or not nuclear armouries exist at the beginning.
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