restrain Definition

  • 1prevent someone or something from doing something; keep under control or within limits
  • 2prevent (a person or animal) from doing harm or acting in a violent or undisciplined way

Using restrain: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "restrain" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The police officer had to restrain the suspect.

  • Example

    She restrained herself from making a rude comment.

  • Example

    The company is trying to restrain costs.

  • Example

    The dog was restrained by its owner.

restrain Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for restrain

Antonyms for restrain

Idioms Using restrain

  • throw caution to the wind(s)

    to act without considering the possible risks or consequences


    He threw caution to the wind and quit his job without having another one lined up.

  • to reveal a secret or confidential information


    I accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.

  • to keep something under control or secret


    The company tried to keep a lid on the scandal, but eventually it became public.

Phrases with restrain

  • refrain from doing something, especially something enjoyable but unwise


    I had to restrain myself from eating the whole cake.

  • an illegal or unethical practice that prevents free competition in business


    The company was accused of restraint of trade for forcing suppliers to sell only to them.

  • a device or system used to prevent injury in a vehicle or other moving object by restraining passengers during sudden movements


    The car's restraint system kept the passengers safe during the accident.

Origins of restrain

from Old French 'restreindre', from Latin 'restringere', meaning 'to bind back'


Summary: restrain in Brief

To 'restrain' [rɪˈstreɪn] is to prevent someone or something from doing something, or to keep them under control. It can refer to physical restraint, as in 'The dog was restrained by its owner,' or self-restraint, as in 'She restrained herself from making a rude comment.' The phrase 'restraint of trade' refers to an illegal or unethical business practice, while 'restraint system' is a device used to prevent injury in a vehicle. Idioms include 'throw caution to the wind(s),' 'let the cat out of the bag,' and 'keep a lid on something.'

How do native speakers use this expression?