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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Restrain


RESTRA'IN, verb transitive [Latin restringo; re and stringo, to strain. The letter g appears from the participle to be casual; stringo, for strigo. Hence strictus, strict, stricture. If the two letters st are removed, the word rigo coincides exactly, in primary sense, with Latin rego, rectus, right, and the root of reach, stretch, straight.]

1. To hold back; to check; to hold from action, proceeding or advancing, either by physical or moral force, or by an interposing obstacle. Thus we restrain a horse by a bridle; we restrain cattle from wandering by fences; we restrain water by dams and dikes; we restrain men from crimes and trespasses by laws; we restrain young people, when we can, by arguments or counsel; we restrain men and their passions; we restrain the elements; we attempt to restrain vice, but not always with success.

2. To repress; to keep in awe; as, to restrain offenders.

3. To suppress; to hinder or repress; as, to restrain excess.

4. To abridge; to hinder from unlimited enjoyment; as, to restrain one of his pleasure or of his liberty.

5. To limit; to confine.

Not only a metaphysical or natural, but a moral universality is also to be restrained by a part of the predicate.

6. To withhold; to forbear.

Thou restrainest prayer before God. Job 15:8.