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.
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