English

Definition of constrain verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    constrain

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//kənˈstreɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈstreɪn//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they constrain
    BrE BrE//kənˈstreɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈstreɪn//
     
    he / she / it constrains
    BrE BrE//kənˈstreɪnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈstreɪnz//
     
    past simple constrained
    BrE BrE//kənˈstreɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈstreɪnd//
     
    past participle constrained
    BrE BrE//kənˈstreɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈstreɪnd//
     
    -ing form constraining
    BrE BrE//kənˈstreɪnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kənˈstreɪnɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[usually passive] constrain somebody to do something to force somebody to do something or behave in a particular way The evidence was so compelling that he felt constrained to accept it. The company said that it was constrained to raise prices.
  2. 2[often passive] to restrict or limit somebody/something constrain something Research has been constrained by a lack of funds. constrain somebody (from doing something) She felt constrained from continuing by the threat of losing her job. Men and women are becoming less constrained by stereotyped roles. see also unconstrained
  3. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French constraindre, from Latin constringere ‘bind tightly together’.Extra examples There are a number of factors which constrain agricultural development. She was an annoying woman, but I always felt constrained to be pleasant to her. They found themselves constrained to accept the proposal.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: constrain