Con*straint" (?), n. [OF. constrainte, F. constrainte.]
The act of constraining, or the state of being constrained; that which compels to, or restrains from, action; compulsion; restraint; necessity.
Long imprisonment and hard constraint.
Not by constraint, but b my choice, I came.
Syn. -- Compulsion; violence; necessity; urgency. -- Constraint, Compulsion. Constraint implies strong binding force; as, the constraint of necessity; the constraint of fear. Compulsion implies the exertion of some urgent impelling force; as, driven by compulsion. The former prevents us from acting agreeably to our wishes; the latter forces us to act contrary to our will. Compulsion is always produced by some active agent; a constraint may be laid upon us by the forms of civil society, or by other outward circumstances.
© Webster 1913.