American English

Definition of restrain verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they restrain
    he / she / it restrains
    past simple restrained
    -ing form restraining
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  1. 1to stop someone or something from doing something, especially by using physical force restrain somebody/something The prisoner had to be restrained by the police. He placed a restraining hand on her arm. restrain somebody/something from something/from doing something I had to restrain her from hitting out at passers-by. They have obtained an injunction restraining the company from selling the product.
  2. 2to stop yourself from feeling an emotion or doing something that you would like to do restrain something John managed to restrain his anger. I restrained the urge to punch him. restrain yourself (from something/from doing something) She had to restrain herself from crying out in pain. I was tempted to answer back, but I restrained myself.
  3. 3restrain something to stop something that is growing or increasing from becoming too large synonym bring/get/keep something under control The government is taking steps to restrain inflation.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: restrain