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constrained is very grievous to be constrained to keep our hands off such a dainty dish as Narnia.
C.S. Lewis  --  The Horse and His Boy
  lacking spontaneity; or restricted in action

or typically archaic:  to force someone to do something
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constrained constrain constraining constrains
Strongly Associated with:   constraint
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  • is very grievous to be constrained to keep our hands off such a dainty dish as Narnia.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Horse and His Boy
  • It seemed that we were all cloaked in an unwelcome garment of racial difference that constrained, confined, and restricted us.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • Alas, the truth constrains me.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Trials of Apollo
  • A constrained trio lingered after Rachel had climbed the stairs behind her husband.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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  • Abruptly then, my primary and nagging concern—where, in what precise room, upon what bed or divan in these constrained and puritanical surroundings would Leslie and I fulfill our glorious compact?
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Gaea turned into loose white sand, but Jason summoned a squadron of venti who churned around her, constraining her in a cocoon of wind.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • It was as though he had taken a constraining hand off me, and I let out my breath in relief, not realizing until then that I had been holding it.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • She was perfectly composed but there was something constrained in her manner, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • When he was gone I turned immediately to Jordan — constrained to assure her of my surprise.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • That’s as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams.
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet

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  • Near him, looking constrained, almost bashful, was old M. Perez, my mother’s special friend.
    Albert Camus  --  The Stranger
  • If they would serve their fellowmen, let them do it by making manifest the power and reality of conscience, in constraining them to penitential self-abasement!
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • They handle a phenomenal amount of traffic in a very constrained environment.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • Tonight, when we met, she was somewhat constrained, and bore all the signs of an internal struggle.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • Oh, if so, punish me as you will; but do not—do not speak to me in tones and manner so formal and constrained.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • I describe everything exactly as it took place, constraining my mind not to wander from the task.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Her sombre violence constrained him: she seemed the embodied instrument of fate.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • If you go on, I Shall feel myself constrained to cuff your face!
    Edmond Rostand  --  Cyrano de Bergerac
  • They smacked the gravel from their clothing and walked in constrained silence to the entrance of the orderly room.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • The scientists may wish to constrain you.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • And she hurried again into the road, and again constrained herself to walk regularly and composedly forward.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • The bonds that constrained her held an odd fascination for him.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Fallen Angels
  • She was tranquil, yet her tranquillity was evidently constrained; and as her confusion had before been adduced as a proof of her guilt, she worked up her mind to an appearance of courage.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • A painful duty constrains me.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • Excellent at constraining evil spirits, isn’t it?
    Rick Riordan  --  The Throne of Fire
  • He’d elected to keep the dragon in the net, because it was easier to work with the dragon constrained, but the dragon didn’t like it.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lost Hero
  • We were reading one day, for delight, of Lancelot, how love constrained him.
    Dante Alighieri  --  Dante’s Inferno
  • The constrained wind had built itself up to mini-cyclone intensity and could not be constrained.
    Eoin Colfer  --  Artemis Fowl
  • ’It was a boat-house originally,’ he said, his voice constrained again, difficult, the voice of someone who is uncomfortable about his subject.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • Chiron had told me long ago: Immortals are constrained by ancient rules.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Titan’s Curse
  • In the air, away from real life, he felt free, but on the ground, when he talked to Guitar just before he left, the wings of all those other people’s nightmares flapped in his face and constrained him.
    Toni Morrison  --  Song of Solomon
  • We are not even constrained by our word of honor.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • David, though he regarded his treasure with longing eyes, was constrained to answer, especially as the venerable father took a part in the interrogatories, with an interest too imposing to be denied.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • Yet the sense of our lonely and forsaken condition weighed heavily upon me as I returned to my family, constraining myself to say with a smile, ’Courage, dear ones!
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Before the ancient language left Eragon’s mouth, he became aware of a curious sensation as the weight constraining his legs lessened at a steady rate.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • A constrained silence lasted for a couple of minutes, and then, as might be expected, some scene-shifting took place.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  Crime and Punishment
  • He had failed in business in a licensed house in the city because his financial condition had constrained him to tie himself to second-class distillers and brewers.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • It’s a system with constrained resources.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Blink
  • ’tis his main hope: For where there is advantage to be given, Both more and less have given him the revolt; And none serve with him but constrained things, Whose hearts are absent too.
    William Shakespeare  --  Macbeth
  • The photographer came out and gave a constrained, apologetic laugh.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • I felt my heels and coat-laps peculiar subjects of assault; and parrying off the larger combatants as effectually as I could with the poker, I was constrained to demand, aloud, assistance from some of the household in re-establishing peace.
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • But one thing remains for you to do: to think of her so intently that she is constrained to think of you.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Mme. Bonacieux looked at the young man, restrained for a minute by a last hesitation; but there was such an ardor in his eyes, such persuasion in his voice, that she felt herself constrained to confide in him.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Three Musketeers
  • He told me "yes" by a constrained gesture; and when I had bidden him enter, he did not obey me without a searching backward glance into the darkness of the square.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Dona Clara, who was generally so adequate, seemed constrained for once.
    Thornton Wilder  --  The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • All this and more the injured Dorothea delivered with such earnest feeling and such tears that all present, even those who came with Don Fernando, were constrained to join her in them.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • At first he never ate anything till hunger constrained him, partly for grief, and partly for want of bread and salt: Nor did he go to bed, till he could watch no longer; the pimento-wood, which burnt very clear, served him both for fire and candle, and refreshed him with its fragrant smell.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Robinson Crusoe
  • His face, constrained to impassivity by the binding strap, infuriated Baby.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • Crossing the Black area of Stamps which in childhood’s narrow measure seemed a whole world, we were obliged by custom to stop and speak to every person we met, and Bailey felt constrained to spend a few minutes playing with each friend.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
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Associated words [difficulty]:   constrained [3] , constraint [4]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Business, Engineering, Logic & Reasoning
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