Words related to constrain


word-forming element meaning "together, with," sometimes merely intensive; it is the form of com- used in Latin before consonants except -b-, -p-, -l-, -m-, or -r-. In native English formations (such as costar), co- tends to be used where Latin would use con-.

strain (v.)

c. 1300, "tie, bind, fasten, gird," from present participle stem of Old French estreindre "bind tightly, clasp, squeeze," from Latin stringere (2) "draw tight, bind tight, compress, press together," from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (source also of Lithuanian strėgti "congeal, freeze, become stiff;" Greek strangein "twist;" Old High German strician "mends nets;" Old English streccian "to stretch;" German stramm, Dutch stram "stiff").

From late 14c. as "tighten; make taut," also "exert oneself; overexert (a body part)," Sense of "press through a filter, put (a liquid) through a strainer" is from early 14c. (implied in strainer); that of "to stress beyond measure, carry too far, make a forced interpretation of" is from mid-15c. Related: Strained; straining.

constrict (v.)

1732, "to cause to draw together by external force or influence;" 1759, "to draw together at any point by force or action," a back-formation from constriction, or else from Latin constrictus, past participle of constringere "compress" (see constrain).

A direct borrowing from Latin of the same word which, via French, became constrain. Earlier in the same sense was constringe (c. 1600). Related: Constricted; constricting.

unconstrained (adj.)

1640s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of constrain (v.). Related: Unconstrainedly.