restrain


restrain
restrain, curb, check, bridle, inhibit are comparable when they mean to hold a person or thing back from doing something or from going too far in doing something.
Restrain, the most comprehensive of these terms, may imply the intent either to prevent entirely or to keep under control or within bounds, but it usually suggests the operation of some force, authority, or motive that is sufficiently strong or compelling as to achieve the desired end
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to produce in the child the same respect for the garden that restrains the grown-ups from picking wantonly— Russell

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her voice is not usually one of her assets . . . the whines, the snarls and the sneers of a poor childhood are restrained with difficulty— Mailer

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Curb can imply either a sharp, drastic method of bringing under control
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attempts to curb lynching by legislation— F. W. Coker

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or a guiding or controlling influence that tends to restrain or moderate something or to restrict a person's freedom of action
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the sober scientific method does not stimulate the imagination; it curbs it— Crothers

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it was necessary to set up devices for curbing the swindles of the speculators— Edmund Wilson

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the feudal nobility was curbed here— Coulton

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Check (see also ARREST 1) often implies the use of a method suggestive of a checkrein which holds up a horse's head and prevents him from getting the bit between his teeth
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Father Latour checked his impetuous vicar— Cather

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but it may carry implications derived from other senses of the noun such as those of delaying or impeding motion or progress
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the ship, hauled up so close as to check her wayConrad

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a spot where her footsteps were no longer checked by a hedgerow— George Eliot

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or of attacking or defeating some force or influence
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the ambition of churchmen . . . disciplined and checked by the broader interests of the Church— Henry Adams

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check for a time the inward sweeping waves of melancholy— Bromfield

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Bridle (see also STRUT) carries a strong implication of bringing or keeping under one's control (as by subduing, moderating, or holding in); it is used chiefly in respect to strong or vehement emotions or desires
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bridle his wrath

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potential violence of feeling is bridled by good form— N. Y. Herald Tribune Book Rev.

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strong in censuring and bridling the wicked— H. O. Taylor

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bridled his curiosity

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he could no longer bridle his passion

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Inhibit (see also FORBID) is a synonym of these terms in a predominantly psychological sense in which it implies the repression or suppression of certain emotions, desires, or thoughts by a curbing influence (as one's conscience or religious principles or the social conventions of one's class)
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a people long inhibited by the prevailing taboos— Eller

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Analogous words: *arrest, check, interrupt: abstain, *refrain, forbear: *hinder, impede, obstruct, block
Antonyms: impel: incite: activate: abandon (oneself)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • restrain — re·strain /ri strān/ vt 1 a: to prevent from doing something see also restraining order at order 3b b: to limit, restrict, or keep under control 2: to moderate or limit …   Law dictionary

  • restrain — re‧strain [rɪˈstreɪn] verb [transitive] to control or limit something that is starting to increase: • tough rules to restrain the creation of monopolies • A cut in consumer credit would restrain an economic recovery. * * * restrain UK US… …   Financial and business terms

  • restrain — [ri strān′] vt. [ME restreinen < OFr restreindre < L restringere < re , back + stringere, to draw tight: see STRICT] 1. to hold back from action; check; suppress; curb 2. to keep under control 3. to deprive of physical liberty, as by… …   English World dictionary

  • Restrain — Re*strain , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Restrained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Restraining}.] [OE. restreinen, F. restreindre, fr. L. restringere, restrictum; pref. re re + stringere to draw, bind, or press together. See {Strain}, v. t., and cf. {Restrict}.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • restrain — (v.) mid 14c., from stem of O.Fr. restraindre, from L. restringere draw back tightly, confine, check (see RESTRICTION (Cf. restriction)). Related: Restrained; restraining …   Etymology dictionary

  • restrain — [v] keep under control; hold back arrest, bind, bottle up, box up, bridle, chain, check, choke back, circumscribe, confine, constrain, contain, control, cool*, cork*, crack down*, curb, curtail, debar, delimit, detain, deter, direct, fetter, gag …   New thesaurus

  • restrain — ► VERB 1) keep under control or within limits. 2) deprive of freedom of movement or personal liberty. 3) repress (a strong emotion). DERIVATIVES restrainable adjective restrainer noun. ORIGIN Latin restringere tie back …   English terms dictionary

  • restrain — [[t]rɪstre͟ɪn[/t]] restrains, restraining, restrained 1) VERB If you restrain someone, you stop them from doing what they intended or wanted to do, usually by using your physical strength. [V n] Wally gripped my arm, partly to restrain me and… …   English dictionary

  • restrain — verb ADVERB ▪ barely ▪ I barely restrained myself from hitting him. ▪ properly ▪ The horse must be properly restrained in a location where it would not hurt itself. ▪ forcibly …   Collocations dictionary

  • restrain — transitive verb Etymology: Middle English restraynen, from Anglo French restreindre, from Latin restringere to restrain, restrict, from re + stringere to bind tight more at strain Date: 14th century 1. a. to prevent from doing, exhibiting, or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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