Con·strain v. t. [imp. & p. p. Constrained p. pr. & vb. n. Constraining.]
1. To secure by bonds; to chain; to bond or confine; to hold tightly; to constringe.
He binds in chains
The drowsy prophet, and his limbs constrains. --Dryden.
When winter frosts constrain the fields with cold. --Dryden.
2. To bring into a narrow compass; to compress.
How the strait stays the slender waist constrain. --Gay.
3. To hold back by force; to restrain; to repress.
My sire in caves constrains the winds. --Dryden.
4. To compel; to force; to necessitate; to oblige.
The love of Christ constraineth us. --2. Cor. v. 14.
I was constrained to appeal unto Cæsar. --Acts xxviii. 19.
5. To violate; to ravish. [Obs.]
6. To produce in such a manner as to give an unnatural effect; as, a constrained voice.
Syn: -- To compel; force; drive; impel; urge; press.
Con·strained a. Marked by constraint; not free; not voluntary; embarrassed; as, a constrained manner; a constrained tone.
adj : lacking spontaneity; not natural; "a constrained smile";
"forced heartiness"; "a strained smile" [syn: forced,