- 1[countable] a thing that limits or restricts something, or your freedom to do something synonym restriction constraints of time/money/space financial/economic/legal/political constraints constraint on something This decision will impose serious constraints on all schools. Thesauruslimitrestriction control constraint restraint limitationThese are all words for something that limits what you can do or what can happen.limit the greatest or smallest amount of something that is allowed:The government has set strict limits on spending. the speed limitrestriction (somewhat formal) a rule or law that limits what you can do:There are no restrictions on the amount of money you can withdraw.control (often in compounds) the act of limiting or managing something; a method of doing this:crowd controlconstraint (somewhat formal) a fact or decision that limits what you can do:The agency is operating under severe budget constraints.restraint (somewhat formal) a decision, a rule, an idea, etc. that limits what you can do; the act of limiting something because it is necessary or sensible to do so:The new law has imposed restraints on exports to Russia.limitation the act or process of limiting something; a rule, fact, or condition that limits something:They would resist any limitation of their powers.restriction, constraint, restraint, or limitation?These are all things that limit what you can do. A restriction is a rule or law that is made by someone in authority. A constraint is something that exists rather than something that is made, although it may exist as a result of someone's decision. A restraint is also something that exists: it can exist outside yourself, as the result of someone else's decision; but it can also exist inside you, as a fear of what other people may think or as your own feeling about what is acceptable:moral/social/cultural restraints. A limitation is more general and can be a rule that someone makes or a fact or condition that exists.Patterns limits/restrictions/controls/constraints/restraints/limitations on something limits/limitations to something severe limits/restrictions/controls/constraints/restraints/limitations tight limits/restrictions/controls/constraints to impose/remove limits/restrictions/controls/constraints/restraints/limitations to ease/lift restrictions/controls/constraints/restraints
- 2[uncountable] strict control over the way that you behave or are allowed to behave At last we could relax and talk without constraint.
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