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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun constraint:


Constraint is a member of the word family constrain, included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun constraint

What does constraint mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: constraints

  1. the state of being physically constrained
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonym of constraint: restraint
    • more generic word: confinement = the state of being confined
    • more specific word: cage = something that restricts freedom as a cage restricts movement
  2. a device that retards something's motion
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of constraint: restraint
    • more generic word: device = an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
    • more specific terms:
      • air bag = a safety restraint in an automobile
      • dive brake / airbrake = a small parachute or articulated flap to reduce the speed of an aircraft
      • arrester hook / arrester = a restraint that slows airplanes as they land on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier
      • band = a restraint put around something to hold it together
      • brake = a restraint used to slow or stop a vehicle
      • brake = anything that slows or hinders a process
      • brake pad = one of the pads that apply friction to both sides of the brake disk
      • brake shoe / shoe / skid = a restraint provided when the brake linings are moved hydraulically against the brake drum to retard the wheel's rotation
      • catch / stop = a restraint that checks the motion of something
      • chain = anything that acts as a restraint
      • fastening / fastener / holdfast / fixing = restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
      • muzzle / gag = restraint put into a person's mouth to prevent speaking or shouting
      • tether / leash / lead = restraint consisting of a rope (or light chain) used to restrain an animal
      • ignition lock / lock = a restraint incorporated into the ignition switch to prevent the use of a vehicle by persons who do not have the key
      • muzzle = a leather or wire restraint that fits over an animal's snout (especially a dog's nose and jaws) and prevents it from eating or biting
      • safety harness / safety belt / life belt = belt attaching you to some object as a restraint in order to prevent you from getting hurt
      • sea anchor / drogue = restraint consisting of a canvas covered frame that floats behind a vessel
      • shackle / trammel / hamper / bond = a restraint that confines or restricts freedom
      • trammel = a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble
  3. the act of constraining; the threat or use of force to control the thoughts or behavior of others
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic words: confinement / restriction = the act of keeping something within specified bounds
    • more specific term: swaddling clothes = restrictions placed on the immature

Alternative definition of the noun constraint


  1. Something that constrains.
  2. [mathematics] A condition that a solution to an optimization problem must satisfy.


  1. Constraint: In mathematics, a constraint is a condition of an optimization problem that the solution must satisfy. There are several types of constraints—primarily equality constraints, inequality constraints, and integer constraints. The set of candidate solutions that satisfy all constraints is called the feasible set.
    • also known as 制約, 約束
  2. Constraint: In engineering design, particularly in the use of computer-aided drafting and design, in the creation of 3D assemblies and multibody systems, the plural term "constraints" refers to demarcations of geometrical characteristics between two or more entities or solid modeling bodies; these delimiters are intentional in defining diverse properties of theoretical physical position and motion, or displacement. In addition, 2D sketches -including the ones used to create extrusions and solid bodies- can also be constrained.
  3. Constraint: In classical mechanics, a constraint is a relation between coordinates and momenta. In other words, a constraint is a restriction on the freedom of movement of a system of particles.
  4. Constraint in information theory refers to the degree of statistical dependence between or among variables.
  5. Constraint: Serves *only* as an Expected Type for Intersection/Union constraint combiners. Must be co-typed with a constraint item, union or intersection. It is not a useful type on its own.
  6. Constraint: Used to point to another combiner type or a constraint item.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Constraint

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewSQL and Relational Theory (2015)

How to Write Accurate SQL Code by C.J. Date

A type constraint is a definition of the set ...

Google previewPrinciples and Practice of Constraint Programming - CP98 (2003)

4th International Conference, CP98, Pisa, Italy, October 26-30, 1998, Proceedings by Michael Maher, Jean-Francois Puget

Positive Constraint: A positive constraint is an atomic constraint where each coecient is non-negative. Negative...

Google preview数据、模型与决策 (2002)

Guan Li Ke Xue Ji Chu by 伯特西马斯, 弗罗因德

The shadow price for a given constraint is a mathematically derived quantity.

For example, in the GTC linear optimization model, the shadow price on the steel constraint is the incremental value of steel to GTC, and the shadow price on the ...

Google previewAda 2005 Reference Manual. Language and Standard Libraries (2006)

International Standard ISO/IEC 8652/1995(E) with Technical Corrigendum 1 and Amendment 1 by S. Tucker Taft

expression in an aggregate, if the component's nominal subtype is a constrained array subtype, the applicable index constraint is the constraint of the subtype; 14 • For a parenthesized expression, the applicable index constraint is that, if any ...

Google previewComputational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing (2010)

11th International Conference, CICLing 2010, Iasi, Romania, March 21-27, 2010, Proceedings by Alexander Gelbukh

commonly used constraint is the constraint of frequency (minsup). However, it is possible to use different constraints...

The first constraint is that the pattern must contain two named entities (C2ne). SAT(C2ne) represents the set of patterns that ...

Google previewRedefining Social Problems (2013)

by Edward Seidman, Julian Rappaport

Funding agency constraint refers to social scientists need to define research problems in terms familiar,

Google previewBandwidth Allocation for Video under Quality of Service Constraints (2014)

by Bushra Anjum, Harry G. Perros

The primary constraint is that the packet loss rate should be less than 1%. The first secondary constraint is that the 95th percentile of the end-to-end delay should be less than 50 ms and the second secondary constraint is that the jitter should ...

Google previewMillimeter Wave Communication Systems (2011)

by Kao-Cheng Huang, Zhaocheng Wang

The first constraint is that the 60 GHz channel is lossy (due to oxygen absorption), but is otherwise benign. The excess loss at 60 GHz is approximately 15 dB/km, and we need to provide a means to overcome oxygen absorption and ensure ...

Google previewSituation Theory and Its Applications: (1991)

by Jon Barwise

Definition 8 An atomic constraint is an equation (=,u,v) or a subsump- tion (C,u,v), where u,v € VOt[A"].

Google previewEntity-Relationship Approach - ER '93 (1994)

12th International Conference on the Entity-Relationship Approach, Arlington, Texas, USA, December 15 - 17, 1993. Proceedings by Ramez A. Elmasri, Vram Kouramajian, Bernhard Thalheim

A typing constraint is a formula of the form VxVy(A(x,y) -> D(x)) or the form VxV y( A(x,y) -» R(y)). A formula of the first form will be abbreviated "domain(A) = D", and a formula of the second form as "range(A) = R". We also say that the domain of ...

Google previewAnalog Layout Generation for Performance and Manufacturability (1999)

by Koen Lampaert, Georges Gielen, Willy M.C. Sansen

be smaller than a certain value to make it fit into a system level placement, the minimum height constraint is a hard constraint and is implemented in the move set. Another situation where hard geometrical constraints are imposed is when the ...

Google previewCarbon Dioxide and Terrestrial Ecosystems (1995)

by George W. Koch, Jacques Roy

The first constraint is that the dominant organisms of forests—trees— are large and have a long life span, precluding simple pot experiments for assessing growth responses to elevated CO2, as well as many of the important physiological ...

Google previewEnvironmental Laws (2001)

Summaries of Statutes Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency by Dieter K. Hammer

A very important sub-class of hybrid systems consists of real-time systems which are systems depending on hard deadlines and on real-time constraints. A typical real-time constraint is that the response time of the controller to some events ...

Google previewRisky Behavior among Youths (2009)

An Economic Analysis by Jonathan Gruber

The first constraint is the information that they have available about the link between food inputs and health outcomes that they care about. The second constraint is the household budget. This formulation leads naturally to the question of ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Optimization (2001)

ing is possible with respect to any constraint. The result of the main step is to remove (some) incompatible values from the domains of the variables occurring in c. Furthermore, it can be shown that NC3 terminates, is correct (the final box ...

Google previewThe New Relational Database Dictionary (2015)

Terms, Concepts, and Examples by C.J. Date

relvar constraint 1. (“A” relvar constraint) Formally, any constraint that refers to the relvar in question, as well ...

Google previewThe International Dictionary of Artificial Intelligence (1999)

by William J. Raynor, William Raynor

Constraint Satisfaction Connectionism This is the name of a highly parallel model for "intelligent" computing. Rather than use a single high-speed processor to compute an algorithm, the process is broken among many smaller, but ...

Google previewDictionary of Critical Realism (2015)

by Mervyn Hartwig

constraint/enablement.A constraint is 'an absolute or relative prohibition, whether natural or social and remediable or not' (DG: 396). An enablement by contrast makes something possible. Constraint is a negative, enablement ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Economics (2016)

by Nigar Hashimzade, Gareth Myles, John Black

constraint. The limit to expenditure. For any economic agent, whether an individual, a firm, or a government, expenditure must stay within limits set by the ability to finance it. In a singleperiod setting no borrowing or lending can take place, ...

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Pendant "Constraint" by Elise Matthesen.

Photo credit: Timprov

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Quotes about Constraint

Why has government been instituted at all Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint. (Alexander Hamilton)
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Scrabble value of C3O1N1S1T1R1A1I1N1T1

The value of this 10-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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