Restrain means to hold yourself back, which is exactly what you'd have to do if, after weeks of dieting, you found yourself face to face with a dessert case filled with pies, cakes, and cookies.

  • Pronunciation: /rɪ'stren/
  • English description: hold back
  • Synonyms: constrain
  • Chinese Translation:  抑制(yi4 zhi4)
  • Spanish Translation: contener
  • ORIGIN: Restrain can also mean to restrict or hold back someone else, to prevent someone from doing what they're intending to do. Prison guards have to restrain a prisoner who is trying to attack one of his fellow inmates. That prisoner might even be put in handcuffs — a kind of restraint. You can restrain yourself, for example if you're watching a Broadway show and suddenly feel the urge to sing along. Your fellow audience members would be grateful for your restraint, especially if you've got a terrible voice.


  • The scientists first restrain the animals in snugly fitting bags and blindfold them, a method that calms the animals and eliminates the need for tranquilizers.
  • But she was as restrained in her ambitions as she was disciplined.

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