late 14c., repressioun, "restraint, act of subduing," noun of action from repress (v.), or else from Medieval Latin repressionem (nominative repressio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin reprimere. Psychological sense is from 1908; biochemical sense is from 1957. French répression (15c.) is not early enough.
"something thrust into the mouth or throat to prevent speaking," 1550s, from gag (v.); figurative use, "violent or authoritative repression of speech," is from 1620s. Gag-law in reference to curbs on freedom of the press is from 1798, American English. The gag-rule that blocked anti-slavery petitions in the U.S. House of Representatives was in force from 1836 to 1844.
late 14c., "self-restraint, moderation," especially with regard to desires and passions, "moderation in sexual intercourse, chastity, restraint of the sexual passions within lawful bounds," from Old French continence (14c.) and directly from Latin continentia "a holding back, repression," abstract noun from continent-, present-participle stem of continere "to hold back, check," also "hold together, enclose," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").
In reference to the body's eliminatory functions, from 1915. Related: Continency.
late 14c., constreinte, "distress, oppression," a sense now obsolete, from Old French constreinte "binding, constraint, compulsion" (Modern French contrainte), fem. noun from constreint, past participle of constreindre, from Vulgar Latin *constrinctus, from Latin constrictus, past participle of constringere "to bind together, tie tightly, fetter, shackle, chain," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + stringere "to draw tight" (see strain (v.)).
Meaning "coercion, compulsion, irresistible force or its effect to restrict or compel" is from 1530s. Especially "repression of emotion or of the expression of one's thoughts or feelings" (1706).
"action of holding back (action or motion); that which restrains, a check, hindrance," early 15c., restreinte, from Old French restreinte, noun use of fem. past participle of restraindre (see restrain).
Specifically in reference to refractory prisoners or dangerous lunatics by 1829. The sense of "reserve, repression of extravagance in manner or style" is from c. 1600. Phrase restraint of trade is by 1630s.
Wherever thought is wholly wanting, or the power to act or forbear according to the direction of thought ; there necessity takes place. This, in an agent capable of volition, when the beginning or continuation of any action is contrary to that preference of his mind, is called compulsion ; when the hindering or stopping any action is contrary to his volition, it is called restraint. [Locke, "Of Human Understanding"]
early 15c., convencioun, "a formal agreement, covenant, treaty," also "a formal meeting or convention" (of rulers, etc.), also "a private or secret agreement," from Old French convencion "agreement" and directly from Latin conventionem (nominative conventio) "a meeting, assembly; an agreement," noun of action from past-participle stem of convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + venire "to come" (from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come").
Originally of princes, powers, and potentates. In diplomacy, of agreements between states, from mid-15c.; of agreements between opposing military commanders from 1780. Meaning "a formal or recognized assembly of persons for a common objective," especially involving legislation or deliberation, is from mid-16c. Conventions were important in U.S. history and the word is attested in colonial writings from 1720s; in reference to political party nomination meetings by 1817 (originally at the state level; national conventions began to be held in the 1830s).
In the social sense, "general agreement on customs, etc., as embodied in accepted standards or usages," it is attested by 1747 (in a bad sense, implying artificial behavior and repression of natural conduct, by 1847). Hence "rule or practice based on general conduct" (1790).