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Constraint   Listen
noun
Constraint  n.  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 by my choice, I came."
Synonyms: 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.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Constraint" Quotes from Famous Books



... constraint of a will quite outside his own, Mr. Challoner rose. Their heads were now more nearly on a level and Mr. Brotherson's voice remained low, as he ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... brave chieftain. The danger having passed away the structure became dilapidated. For a pecuniary compensation the seigniors allowed the economical and tenacious peasant to pick off it a good many stones. Through constraint they suffered the king to appropriate to himself the public portion. The primitive foundation remains, property as organized in ancient times, the fettered or exhausted land supporting a social conformation that ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... religious indifference, though it is remarkable of the Spartans, that of all Greek tribes they were the most facile and numerous delinquents under all varieties of foreign temptations to revolt from their hereditary allegiance—a fact which measures the degree of unnatural constraint and tension which the Spartan usages involved; but in this case we rather account for the public outrage to religion and universal usage, by a strong political jealousy lest the provisions of the treaty should transpire prematurely amongst ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... theory is theory in the worst sense of the word. You imagine procedures which are sanctioned by the experience of no living man, and then call to your aid constraint and prohibition. You cannot avoid having recourse to force; because, wishing to make men produce what they can more advantageously buy, you require them to give up an advantage, and to be led by a doctrine which implies contradiction ...
— Sophisms of the Protectionists • Frederic Bastiat

... convalescence; he would sometimes come into the morning-room where Nelly and I spent most of our time, and bring me a book or paper to read, often sitting down and reading it himself to us. And I soon lost all sense of constraint with him, and could talk to him as unrestrainedly as ...
— Dwell Deep - or Hilda Thorn's Life Story • Amy Le Feuvre

... services from me, in the course of the frequent quarrels between him and his sister, and he had a great friendship for me. The King was in the constant habit of seeing me; and an accident, which I shall have occasion to relate, rendered him very familiar with me. He talked without any constraint when I was in the room. During Madame de Pompadour's illness I scarcely ever left her chamber, and passed the night there. Sometimes, though rarely, I accompanied her in her carriage with Doctor Quesnay, ...
— Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe - Marguerite de Valois, Madame de Pompadour, and Catherine de Medici • Various

... freely or not in this case can not certainly be known. At all events, Henry, and those who were acting with him at Paris, determined to regard the letter as written under constraint, and to go on with the maturing of their plans just as if ...
— Richard III - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... topic made them both self-conscious, and for the first time Colette acknowledged to herself that she had been in the wrong in the matter of the surplice. John, misinterpreting her constraint, and fearing that the reference to the garment had revived all her old resentment, arose ...
— Amarilly of Clothes-line Alley • Belle K. Maniates

... full of new and positive ideas that He did not feel any need for breaking old idols, so free that no constraint could depress Him, so unconquerable that even under the load of the greatest accumulations of rubbish He could still breathe. This ought ye to do, He said, and not to leave the other undone; He did not seek to take away one iota, but only to fulfil. He never thought of leaving the Jewish community. ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... not the advantage of his rank to appear charming. I had the honour of a long conversation with him last night, before the king came in. His governor retired on purpose (as he told me afterwards) that I might make some judgment of his genius, by hearing him speak without constraint; and I was surprised at the quickness and politeness that appeared in every thing he said; joined to a person perfectly agreeable, and the fine fair hair ...
— Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e • Lady Mary Wortley Montague

... Great Leptis (Lebda to the west of Tripoli). In what way all these cities came to be subject to Carthage—whether voluntarily, for their protection perhaps from the attacks of the Cyrenaeans and Numidians, or by constraint—can no longer be ascertained; but it is certain that they are designated as subjects of the Carthaginians even in official documents, that they had to pull down their walls, and that they had to pay tribute and furnish contingents to Carthage. They were not liable however ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... his companion detected it embarrassed him. He found himself in the position of fencing with a man to whom all his feelings impelled him to be perfectly open. He paused, and was awkwardly conscious of constraint in the silence which ensued. "You are very kind to put it in that way," said Lord Plowden, at last. He seemed also to be finding words for his thoughts with a certain difficulty. He turned his cigar round in his white fingers meditatively. "I gather that your success has been complete—as complete ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... your pardon, sir," said Parkinson, with some constraint. "I understand that you had taken the rooms for a ...
— Four Max Carrados Detective Stories • Ernest Bramah

... and formal, yet courteous and lively, communicative and hospitable, well-bred and intelligent. They are not ambitious, but content to live and enjoy what nature spontaneously offers. The most a Brazilian wants is farina and coffee, a hammock and cigar. Brazilian ladies have led a dreary life of constraint and silence, without education or society, the husband making a nun of his wife after the old bigoted Portuguese notion; but during the last twenty years the doors have been opened. Brazil attained her independence in ...
— The Andes and the Amazon - Across the Continent of South America • James Orton

... taken his breezy departure a constraint fell upon us. Evelyn's eyes were shy, and mine not a great deal bolder. Yesterday we could have chatted away with the most delightful freedom; to-day we were confined to ...
— The Pirate of Panama - A Tale of the Fight for Buried Treasure • William MacLeod Raine

... sent her the list of books. But the weeks passed, and she did not come back. Once, when he met her at a dinner of Mrs. Preston's, both avoided the subject of her visit, both were conscious of a constraint. She did not know how often, unseen by her, his eyes had sought her out from the chancel. For she continued to come to church as frequently as before, and often brought ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... dispelling a life-long sorrow—would lift a crushing burden from the heart. The time to prepare that assurance, so that it shall come with most effectual power, is now, in days of health, when the evidences of our piety shall not be attainted by a suspicion of constraint and insincerity, arising from late repentance and an apparently forced submission to God. Our recollections of a departed Christian friend, of whose salvation his pious life makes us perfectly assured, come over us like the soft pulsations of a west wind ...
— Catharine • Nehemiah Adams

... down in silence. Her mouth was shut close, her face averted. She was regretting bitterly that she had ever come back. Ursula looked at her, and thought how amazingly beautiful she was, flushed with discomfiture. But she caused a constraint over Ursula's nature, a certain weariness. Ursula wished to be alone, freed from the tightness, the enclosure ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... light occasion: the goodwill of kinsfolk is constantly cold, as much of custom as of devotion: but in this stately estate of matrimony there is nothing fearful, all things are done faithfully without doubting, truly without doubling, willingly without constraint, joyfully without complaint: yea there is such a general consent and mutual agreement between the man and wife, that they both wish and will covet and crave one thing. And as a scion grafted in a strange stalk, ...
— John Lyly • John Dover Wilson

... Penman;' but the stage was vast in comparison with any on which I had until then appeared, and my customary business brought me only within half a dozen paces of the door-way by which I should have vanished. A sudden sense of strangeness and constraint came down upon me like a cloud. The happy feeling of confidence vanished in a whiff of chill spiritual wind. The last line was spoken before that unhappy half-dozen of paces was achieved; and I left the stage in a dead silence, which was as eloquent of failure as it had been ...
— The Making Of A Novelist - An Experiment In Autobiography • David Christie Murray

... Constraint deepened as the visit was prolonged. Mrs. Conyers begged Mrs. Meredith for a recipe that she knew to be bad; and when Mrs. Meredith had left the room for it, she rose and looked eagerly out of the windows for any sign of Rowan. When Mrs. Meredith ...
— The Mettle of the Pasture • James Lane Allen

... arrayed them. And the many vivid expressions of consternation, abhorrence and incredulity that have come out of this community of Intellectuals in the course of the past two years of trial and error, bear sufficient testimony to the rigorous constraint which these German preconceptions and their logic exercise over the Intellectuals, no less ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... to the general Assembly. This, I fear, is talking without much consideration of the nature of that Assembly or of these corporations. However, to be subject to the pleasure of that Assembly is not to be subject to law, either for protection or for constraint. ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... character of my behaviour in that time I will leave to my acquaintance to declare; my character was sufficiently testified at my trial, by gentlemen of worth and honour. I pray God bless them for their Christian charity. I praise God my resolution to live uprightly was no constraint; as for the cause I suffer, and the horrid imputation I am charged with which is rendered murder (from my soul I abhor) I now declare as I expect salvation, I am unjustly accused, but I freely forgive my persecutors, as I hope to ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... some details of his work and Lucy Upton, watching him closely, saw how he had been engrossed by it. Paul Cotter too noticed, and feeling constraint, at least, demanded that Henry doff his savage disguise, put on white men's clothes and get ...
— The Young Trailers - A Story of Early Kentucky • Joseph A. Altsheler

... the gallant commander of the Orient was secretly amazed by the metamorphosis effected in Robert's appearance since he scrutinized him through his glasses. Iris, too, unaccustomed to the constraint of high-heeled shoes, clung to the nondescript's arm in a manner that shook the sailor's faith in Lord Ventnor's pretensions as her ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... importunities as before. Zuleika, however, was not discouraged; she continued her solicitations unremittingly, day after day,[118] month after month, for a whole year, but always without the least success, for Joseph in his chastity did not permit himself even to look upon her, wherefore she resorted to constraint. She had an iron shackle placed upon his chin, and he was compelled to keep his head up and look her in ...
— The Legends of the Jews Volume 1 • Louis Ginzberg

... sufficing. Fakirs probably pass through the same phases that invalids do who are forced to keep perfectly quiet through a fracture or dislocation. During the first days the organism revolts against such inaction, the constraint is great, the muscles contract by starts, and then the patient gets used to it; the constraint becomes less and less, the revolt of the muscles becomes less frequent, and the patient becomes reconciled to his immobility. It is probable that after ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 446, July 19, 1884 • Various

... the one to speak, and her tone was rather abrupt and high-pitched as if she, too, were conscious of a long silence and broke it deliberately, as one breaks, with an effort, constraint. ...
— If Winter Comes • A.S.M. Hutchinson

... the most part to dislike me. I hate their little crawling ways, their conventionalities, their deceits, their narrow rights and wrongs. They take offence at my brusque outspokenness, my disregard for their social laws, my impatience of all constraint. Among my books and my drugs in my lonely den at Mansie I could let the great drove of the human race pass onwards with their politics and inventions and tittle-tattle, and I remained behind stagnant and happy. ...
— The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... of his own will,—Wotan becomes stern, lays down his command irrevocably, with threats of crushing retribution if this child of his shall dare to palter with his expressed will. "Keep a watch over yourself! Hold yourself in strong constraint! Put forth all your valour in the fight!... Have well in mind what I command: Siegmund is to fall! ...
— The Wagnerian Romances • Gertrude Hall

... petticoat, which in one solid square of broad-cloth was tightly wrapped around the loins, also carried a blanket loosely thrown around the person, but closely confined over the shoulders in front, and reaching below the knee. There was an air of constraint in their movements, which accorded ill with the occasion of festivity for which they were assembled; and it was remarkable, whether it arose from deference to those to whom they were slaves, as well as wives and daughters, or from whatever other ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... samples. Wasteful as is the mal-distribution of human activities (mal-distribution worse than that of land or capital!), cruel as is the consequent pressure of want, there yet remains at the bottom of an immense amount of work an inner push different from that outer constraint, an inner need as fruitful as the outer one is wasteful: there remains the satisfaction in work, the wish to work. However outer necessity, "competition," "minimum of cost," "iron law of wages," call ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... was sensible must appear to you, who was ignorant of my motive, to be mean, vulgar, and selfish. And yet, what other course had I to take with a man whom no denial, no scorn could abash? But, if this was a cruel task, how much more wretched still was the constraint I was obliged to wear in his presence before you, to shew outward civility to the man whom my soul detested, for fear of any fatal consequence from your suspicion; and this too while I was afraid he ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... chief home of the Horror which had hung upon my spirit even during the days when I hardly knew in any intelligible sense the cause of it. But the drawing-room and dining-room both produced upon my mind a vague consciousness of constraint. I was dimly aware of being ill at ease and uncomfortable in them. My own bedroom, on the contrary, gave me a pleasant feeling of rest and freedom and security: while the servants'-hall and the kitchen seemed perfect ...
— Recalled to Life • Grant Allen

... O ye laurels, and once more Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never-sere, I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, And with forced fingers rude Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear, Compel me to disturb your season due; For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer. Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rime. He must not float upon his watery bier Unwept, and ...
— The Hundred Best English Poems • Various

... at last, but it was a movement of constraint. He laid his free hand on her shoulder. "Crying won't help," he said. "I think we had ...
— The Top of the World • Ethel M. Dell

... Olivia, at the Lyceum Theatre (it was May 27, 1885, when the present writer happened to be in London), Henry Irving's performance of Dr. Primrose was fettered by a curb of constraint. The actor's nerves had been strained to a high pitch of excitement and he was obviously anxious. His spirit, accordingly, was not fully liberated into the character. He advanced with cautious care and ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... fit of despair took the stocking to a little distance and sat down to work. The marble egg was heavy to hold. It took a long while to go up one side of the heel and down the other. She was tired of sitting under constraint and so still. And her Aunt Candy seemed like a jailer, and that perfumed room like a prison. The quicker her work could be done, the better for her. So Matilda reflected, and her needle ...
— Opportunities • Susan Warner

... says, "can hardly be pronounced a successful competition with Stothard, though traces of a higher feeling are visible in the graceful female forms,—benevolent heroine, or despairing, famishing peasant group. The artist evidently moves in constraint, and the accessories of these domestic scenes are simply generalized as if by a child: the result of an inobservant eye for such things." But of those published there are two at least which, as Mr. Kegan Paul has already pointed out, make a deep impression ...
— Mary Wollstonecraft • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... for, like all the other Feejee chiefs, Tararo was a despot and might have commanded obedience to his wishes; but he entered so readily into the spirit of the new faith that he perceived at once the impropriety of using constraint in the propagation of it. He set the example, therefore; and that example was followed by almost every man ...
— The Coral Island - A Tale Of The Pacific Ocean • R. M. Ballantyne

... lengthy one, and the ladies went upstairs again, with a suppressed constraint, each anxious to know what the other was on her guard not to tell. They sat alone expectant for some time, making conversation, taking their coffee, listening, and watching each how the other listened, for the coming ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... satisfied, though very nearly, with the evidence now in his possession. The letter, the stolen perusal of which had so agitated him that day, bore no signature; but, independently of the handwriting, which seemed, spite of the constraint of an attempted disguise, to be familiar to his eye, there existed, in the matter of the letter, short as it was, certain internal evidences, which, although not actually conclusive, raised, in conjunction with all the other circumstances, a powerful presumption in aid ...
— The Evil Guest • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... had been, on both sides, I dare say, a sense of awkward constraint. There were so many things which we must not speak of—things which threatened incessantly to force their way to ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... the identity of that fugitive in the night, he seemed to find it hard to say exactly. How could a man of no education define for them his own but half-denied misgivings about the Law, his sense of oppression, constraint and awe, of being on the defensive, even, in an abject way, his skepticism? About his wanting, come what might, to "keep clear of ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 • Various

... inches straight to the rear, left knee slightly bent; clasp the hands, without constraint, in front of the center of the body, fingers joined, right hand uppermost, left thumb clasped by the thumb and forefinger of the right hand; preserve silence and steadiness ...
— Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts • Girl Scouts

... standing at her elbow and talking to her in bodily presence. But while he spoke with all the ease and simplicity of old times, almost making Fleda think it was but last week they had been strolling through the Place de la Concorde together, there was a constraint upon her that she could not get rid of and that bound eye and tongue. It might have worn off, but his attention was presently claimed again by Mrs. Evelyn; and Fleda thought best while yet Constance's bouquet was unfinished, to ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... much alarmed at the prospect. Order was wont to come with her presence, and she hardly knew the aspect of tumultuous idleness or insubordination to unenforced authority; for her eye and voice in themselves brought cheerful discipline without constraint, and upheld by few punishments, for the strong influence took away the ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... the shyness and awkwardness of inexperienced youth, a feeling of constraint; an impression of perplexity and wonder, as though some one had suddenly knocked at the door. Anna Sergueyevna, "the lady with the toy dog" took what had happened somehow seriously, with a particular gravity, ...
— The House with the Mezzanine and Other Stories • Anton Tchekoff

... my girl friends for leaving me out. I might have done the same to one of them. It isn't contrary to the rules. In fact the few times I did encounter the old associates it was far from pleasant. There was a feeling of constraint. There was nothing to talk about, either. Even my manicurist and hairdresser, usually so conversational about all the social events of the community, felt embarrassed and ill at ease, with the parties at Grassmere, the costumes for the masquerade, Miss Oliphant, and the Vars ...
— The Fifth Wheel - A Novel • Olive Higgins Prouty

... The self-constraint which Nelson exerted in subduing this attachment made him naturally desire to be at sea; and when, upon visiting Lord Howe at the Admiralty, he was asked if he wished to be employed, he made answer that he did. Accordingly in ...
— The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson • Robert Southey

... mountains clothed with light and night and change, The lakes alive with wind and cloud and sun, Made answer, by constraint sublime and strange, To the ardent hand that bade thy ...
— Poems and Ballads (Third Series) - Taken from The Collected Poetical Works of Algernon Charles - Swinburne—Vol. III • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... better get up, child," said Diana, in a tone divided between constraint and pity. "It will do thee no good to lie there. We shall all have to put up with the same thing in our turn. I haven't got the man I should have chosen; but I suppose it won't ...
— A Forgotten Hero - Not for Him • Emily Sarah Holt

... dwelleth. But in a very real sense law shall cease when fulfilled. There is no law to him who can say, 'Thy law is within my heart.' When law has become both 'law and impulse,' it has ceased to be law, in so far as it no longer stands over against the doer as an external constraint. ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... on—"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume II • Susan Warner

... thought Virginia; but it was too late to retreat, without drawing attention to an act which she could not explain. They all went in, the others apparently suspecting nothing; but in a second Virginia instinctively guessed the reason of her hostess's sudden constraint, and the sympathetic thrill that ran through her own veins surprised her. In a panel of the darkly wainscotted and curiously gilded wall was placed a life-size portrait of a man. It was an oil-painting, defective ...
— The Castle Of The Shadows • Alice Muriel Williamson

... him without a trace of emotion or constraint in her large, quiet face, and their eyes met for a moment in that brief, fixed, baffling fashion that seems to prove that mankind is after all but a dumb masked creature saddled with the ...
— The Return • Walter de la Mare

... whom his bread and butter is the first thought. Gladness shone in every look and movement; but at the same time over all the gladness there was a slight veil; it might be gravity, but it might not be all gravity, for part of it was very like constraint; the eyes were more ready to fall than to rise; and the words, though free to come, had a great facility for running in short sentences. But Mrs. Derrick was too happy to notice such light streaks of mist in the sunshine, and talked away at a most unusual rate,—telling ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... had elapsed since he had been haranguing the admiring company of his friends, and his words came easily. Moreover, it was a long time since he had broken through the constraint he felt in Don Paolo's presence, and the opportunity having presented itself was not to ...
— Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster • F. Marion Crawford

... alarmed, and advanced towards Surena, after first turning round and merely saying, "Octavius and Petronius, and you Roman officers who are here, you see that I go under compulsion, and you are witnesses that I am treated in a shameful way and am under constraint; but, if you get safe home, tell all the world, that Crassus lost his life through the treachery of the enemy, and was ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... you, if I could rip off that swathing of idealization you've wrapped around him," Fyfe observed patiently. "It's not a job I have much stomach for however, even if you were willing to let me try. But to come back. You've got to stick it out with me, Stella. You'll hate me for the constraint, I suppose. But until—until things shape up differently—you'll understand what I'm talking about by and by, I think—you've got to abide by the bargain you made with me. I couldn't force you to stay, I know. But there's one hold you can't break—not ...
— Big Timber - A Story of the Northwest • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... more persistent than the stream of feminine discourse. The tact and skill which suffice to avert a Woman's sting are unequal to the task of stopping a Woman's mouth; and as the wife has absolutely nothing to say, and absolutely no constraint of wit, sense, or conscience to prevent her from saying it, not a few cynics have been found to aver that they prefer the danger of the death-dealing but inaudible sting to the safe sonorousness of a ...
— Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Illustrated) • Edwin A. Abbott

... friend?" The Knight pressed her soft hand, and stroked down her ringlets. Not a word could he say; his distress at the old man's harshness toward Undine had sealed his lips; and so each couple remained sitting opposite the other, in moody silence and constraint. ...
— Famous Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... old friend fairly enough, but a certain amount of constraint would show, and Deering evidently saw it, but he made no sign, and they went into the house, where Aunt Hannah met them in the drawing-room, looking a little flustered, consequent upon an encounter with Martha in the kitchen, that lady having declared ...
— The Weathercock - Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias • George Manville Fenn

... answered Vivien's questions, after plying her with innumerable enquiries, she admitted with a blush that Heinrich, the German sergeant, with whom she had first cohabited by constraint, had recently married her at the Mairie, though the Cure had refused to perform the religious service. Heinrich was now invariably kind and worked hard on the farm. He hoped by diligently supplying the officers' messes in Brussels with poultry and vegetables that he and his assistants—two ...
— Mrs. Warren's Daughter - A Story of the Woman's Movement • Sir Harry Johnston

... his modest and ingenuous virtue would surely have made but a very indifferent figure: and Tully's declamatory inclination would have been as useless in poetry. Nature, if left to herself, leads us on in the best course, but will do nothing by compulsion and constraint; and if we are not satisfied to go her way, we are always the ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... injures him not, essentially; it ceases to particularly affect him, beyond his inward appraisement of the character before him. Toward him one acts simply in accordance with the instincts of one's nature. His status counsels no constraint, invites no display, has no property of stimulation. Thus the view of a famous man's character from the position of retail clerk is valuable. Mr. James's manner with Mr. Brownell would hardly be the same as toward us. But it was, exactly. There was present in his mind at the ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... storm. The secular priests generally refused to say the Mass of the Holy Spirit; but the monks, especially the Capuchin friars, had the reputation of yielding with less scruple to the entreaties of the anxious and distressed. In the constraint thus supposed by Catholic peasantry to be laid by the priest upon the deity we seem to have an exact counterpart of the power which the ancient Egyptians ascribed to their magicians. Again, to take another example, in many villages of Provence the ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... time they were silent, though it was not long before Winsome drew away her hand, which, however, continued to burn consciously for an hour afterwards. Silence settled around them. The constraint of speech fell first upon Ralph, being town-bred and accustomed to the convenances ...
— The Lilac Sunbonnet • S.R. Crockett

... she had let her know in some way how much she admired her, and longed to be like her, and how she was going to try all the rest of her life to be a real maid of honor, worthy in every way of her love and confidence. But some shy, unusual feeling of constraint crowded the unspoken words back into her throbbing little throat, and the ...
— The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor • Annie Fellows Johnston

... of which these other are but indications, is the spiritual fact of the separate personality of each human being. This is seen most absolutely in the sphere of morals. The ultimate standard for a man is his own individual conscience, and neither the constraint of affection, nor the authority of numbers, can atone for falseness there. One of the most forceful illustrations of this final position of all religion is to be found, in the passage of terrific intensity from the Book of Deuteronomy, which we have transcribed as a preface to ...
— Friendship • Hugh Black

... extent your lordship possesses it, but I am equally certain I have never before enjoyed the honor of being presented to your lordship!" said John Steele. The words were punctiliously spoken, his accents as cold as the other's. An infinitesimal trace of constraint seemed to have crept into the box; Steele turned and holding out his hand, thanked Sir Charles and his wife for ...
— Half A Chance • Frederic S. Isham

... the least constraint; they chatted about everything, drank, and made plenty of noise. It was a splendid place, Milde's studio; as soon as one got inside the door one felt free to do or ...
— Shallow Soil • Knut Hamsun

... return we found that Madera had again put in an appearance, and another evening of constraint and irritation was the result. This occurred also on the third evening, after which for a short time Senor Madera, apparently conscious of the fact that his company was not altogether desirable, ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... extending reformed religion in Ireland. Congratulating his deputy, he expressed a hope that many, by such means, would be brought to conformity in religion, who would hereafter 'give thanks to God for being drawn by so gentle a constraint to their own good.' The 'gentle constraint' was imposed in all directions. The Privy Council decreed that none but a member of the Church of England could hold any office under the Crown. The old Catholic families of the Pale humbly remonstrated, and their chief men were ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... He encouraged them to eat, and frequently drank to their health; but in spite of all this, his encouragement failed to overcome the timidity of some, and the servants removed the plates of each course without their having touched them, though this constraint did not prevent their being full of joy and enthusiasm as they left the table. "Au revoir, my brave men," the First Consul would say to them; "baptize for me quickly these new-born," touching with his fingers their sabers of honor. God knows ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... dwelling. And the rain forever raineth, Shedding his divine refulgence, And revealing to our vision Ev'ry landmark that in darkness And in shapeless gloom was shrouded;— Till for joy our belts we loosen'd, Casting off constraint, and sported. Danker now than in the dulcet Spring-time grew the summer grasses; Yet to-day our bliss ...
— Japanese Literature - Including Selections from Genji Monogatari and Classical - Poetry and Drama of Japan • Various

... questioningly. 'As you please,' she went on, 'but still something tells me that we have not come together for nothing; that we shall be great friends. I am sure this—what should I say, constraint, reticence in ...
— Fathers and Children • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... was powerless to contend with a love which made my mother happy; because I was weary of keeping up the daily constraint of my relations with her and him, and also because I hoped that when once I was free I should be better fitted for my task as a doer of justice. I myself asked to be permitted to leave the house, so that at nineteen I possessed absolute independence, an apartment of ...
— Stories of Modern French Novels • Julian Hawthorne

... The constraint between his mother and himself had reached a greater pitch than ever before. He thought seriously of leaving her and the country. He still had some money left, the proceeds of the patent, and he could easily make more. How irksome it became to him to go into the fields and woods without Helene! ...
— Absalom's Hair • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... deceive his companion. Sybil Linforth was certain, absolutely certain, that the cause of the constraint and embarrassment which had been audible in Sir John's voice, and noticeable in his very manner, was that double string of big pearls of perfect colour which adorned ...
— The Broken Road • A. E. W. Mason

... who has paid attention to the subject. It would have been perhaps a pity if thought had not gone through other phases; it would certainly have been a pity if the tongues had all been subjected to the fullest influence of Latin constraint. But that the more lawless of them benefited by that constraint there can be no doubt whatever. The influence of form which the best Latin hymns of the Middle Ages exercised in poetry, the influence in vocabulary and in logical arrangement which Scholasticism exercised in prose, are ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... other mining districts in which he had ventures. When thus absent, he would live as Jack Brien and his friends were living at Mrs. Henniker's, and was supposed to enjoy the ease of his inn more thoroughly than he did the constraint of his ...
— John Caldigate • Anthony Trollope

... happened in my absence. But of the sweet whispers and little confidences which should set all riders on Riding Day above all the rest of the world, there were none between us, and at times we fell to silence and a touch of constraint. ...
— Carette of Sark • John Oxenham

... Nothing is more terrible than being constrained to do some one thing every day from morning until night against one's will. And the more a man the worker feels himself, the more hateful must his work be to him, because he feels the constraint, the aimlessness of it for himself. Why does he work? For love of work? From a natural impulse? Not at all! He works for money, for a thing which has nothing whatsoever to do with the work itself; and he works so long, moreover, and in such unbroken ...
— The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 - with a Preface written in 1892 • Frederick Engels

... of war; and Aeth submitted on the same conditions. The French troops were dispirited. The city of Paris was overwhelmed with consternation. Louis affected to bear his misfortunes with calmness and composure; but the constraint had such an effect upon his constitution, that his physicians thought it necessary to prescribe frequent bleeding, which he accordingly underwent. At his court no mention was made of military transactions: all was ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... more than it did her.) These things, which it was her duty to tell him, she told simply and plainly. But she omitted to mention that two men in possession were sitting in the housekeeper's room, in attitudes of more or less constraint. She ended by assuring Horace of her gratitude, with a fervency which suggested that he had some cause to doubt it. And indeed, at the moment, she could hardly tell whether she were more grateful to him for offering to come to her or ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... sometimes the following up of the notice which he himself had given him to leave his service. Be this as it may, his temporary absences always involved a trial of strength between the parties, as to which of them should hold out, and put a constraint upon his inclinations the longest; for since the truth must be told of Jemmy, we are bound to say that he could as badly bear to live removed from the society of his master, as the latter could live without him. For many years of his life, he had been threatening to go to America, ...
— The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine • William Carleton

... He has not yet married Miss Battersby, although Lalage has done her best to throw them together and the advantages of the match become every day more obvious. It is just possible that the publication of my reminiscences may create an awkwardness—a constraint of manner on the part of the bishop, a modest shrinking in Miss Battersby, which will tend to put off the final settlement of the affair. I ventured to hint to Lalage that it might be well to bring the business to a head, if possible, ...
— Lalage's Lovers - 1911 • George A. Birmingham

... matters little if that desire be expressed by the press, by popular meetings, decisions of political parties, or by disorders and riots against national oppression), that nation is not given the right of deciding by free vote-without the slightest constraint, after the complete departure of the armed forces of the nation which has annexed it or wishes to annex it or is stronger in general-the form of its national and political organisation, such a union constitutes an annexation-that is to say, ...
— Ten Days That Shook the World • John Reed

... present occasion, white and worn, not with her long vigil, but because it was "borne in upon her," as poor Joanna used to say, that her son and she must part for his own good: so soon as the spring should come she would bid him go. London, where all was prudence and constraint, was no place to win the bride she sought for him. He should go forth into the country, where even heiresses were still girls, and win her, as troubadour of old, but with sketch-book in hand instead of harp. Not a promising scheme, one might say; but then, ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... robes, groaning and moaning as if her last hour had come; and scarcely had the sub-prioress taken a seat near her, when my cat crept forth from under the bed, in his little red hose, mewing and rubbing himself up against the robe of the sub-prioress, as if praying her to remove this unwonted constraint from him, of ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V2 • William Mienhold

... sons' sons be the last resolute tyranny prepared by one age for the coercion, constraint, and defeat of the future? To impose that compulsion has been hitherto one of the strongest of human desires. It is one, doubtless, to be outgrown by the human race; but how slowly that growth creeps onwards, let this success in the stencilling of St Paul's teach us, to our confusion. ...
— Essays • Alice Meynell

... regretted, during the last few weeks, the feeling of outraged pride which had incited her to consent to this marriage; her loyal, sincere nature had revolted at the constraint she had imposed upon herself; her nerves had been so severely taxed by having to receive her fiance with sufficient warmth to satisfy his expectations, and yet not afford any encouragement to his demonstrative tendencies, that the certainty of her newly acquired freedom created ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... outside of the platter, to conceal defects by gloss and glitter. Its theory of politeness and its maxims of behavior are drawn from a state of things so different from that which here prevails, that they produce in us little besides an exaggerated ungracefulness, a painful constraint, a complete artificiality of conduct and character. We are trying to shine in borrowed plumes. We would glisten with foreign varnish. To produce an effect is our endeavor. We prefer to act, rather than live. ...
— How To Behave: A Pocket Manual Of Republican Etiquette, And Guide To Correct Personal Habits • Samuel R Wells

... Celina's room, I greeted her very cordially, but she replied with a certain constraint, and I am sure she would have received me with still greater coldness had she not feared to offend my aunt. But I was not hurt by this; her resentment is quite justifiable. Maybe, in her mind, she connects me with the loss of her estate, and thinks all this would ...
— Without Dogma • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... been speaking as if with a malicious glee, for his words seemed to strike, each one, into the face of the pallid figure, darkly standing before him. And he was aware that each word increased the stiff and watchful constraint of the figure that knelt beside the table to write. But suddenly his glee left him; he scowled at the Archbishop as if Cranmer had caused him to sin. He pulled at ...
— The Fifth Queen Crowned • Ford Madox Ford

... had brought with him; "there are several points in the case I should like to mention to you." He paused for a minute, apparently to collect his thoughts, and to Herbert's sensitive ears there was a sudden coldness and constraint in his voice and manner. "You will, of course, take instructions in the main from Grainge and Co.; but what I wished to point out to you was—ahem——" here his voice unaccountably faltered, and his ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... that the watch were quietly chatting and smoking forward, whereas the Baron's stateroom was situated aft. The delay enabled von Kerber to collect his thoughts. When he resumed the promised disclosure, his voice was under control, and he spoke with less constraint. ...
— The Wheel O' Fortune • Louis Tracy

... away; she had been standing in the next room, listening intently to every word of the conversation, and only kept from coming in by a certain constraint that made a brother whom she had not met for so many years seem almost as much a stranger as if he had not been connected ...
— The House Behind the Cedars • Charles W. Chesnutt

... breath, but again checked himself just in time to prevent the words "and wives," that rose to his lips. "And friends," he substituted, with evident constraint and as awkwardly as before. It was not often that a woman had been able to disconcert Edgar Harrowby so strangely as did this ignorant and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 99, March, 1876 • Various

... replied; but her voice was not the same which had addressed Richard first; there was a coldness, a constraint in it now, as if her good resolution had been thrown back upon her and frozen up the impulse prompting her ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... newcomers, and Linda was aware of a sudden constraint. A woman volubly French had appeared with a long pinkish-white dog in a blanket, and the three Arabians—she had learned that much—had risen with a concerted expression of surprise and displeasure. Their anxiety, though, ...
— Linda Condon • Joseph Hergesheimer

... rights of spirit, would accuse me of establishing the worship of matter, against which I protest with all the strength of my soul;—sensualists and materialists, to whom the divine dogma is the symbol of constraint and the principle of enslavement of the passions, outside of which, they say, there is for man neither pleasure, nor virtue, nor genius;—eclectics and sceptics, sellers and publishers of all the old philosophies, but not philosophers themselves, united ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... meet you, My sight was set elsewhere, I sheered about to shun you, And lent your life no care. I was unprimed to greet you At such a date and place, Constraint alone had won you Vision ...
— Late Lyrics and Earlier • Thomas Hardy

... uncertain what to say. Since her recovery was doubtful I shrank from encouraging her in a false hope, and I could not tell her that we all thought she must soon die. She soon noticed my constraint, and ...
— Medoline Selwyn's Work • Mrs. J. J. Colter

... receive this new Russian person very willingly into his circle and did not speak to Rostov. Boris did not appear to notice the constraint the newcomer produced and, with the same pleasant composure and the same veiled look in his eyes with which he had met Rostov, tried to enliven the conversation. One of the Frenchmen, with the politeness characteristic of his countrymen, ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... draw him into some corner of those immense rooms, and at length negotiate their loan. For this it was that they had been awaiting for two hours; this was the object of their visit and the fixed idea which gave them during the meal that absent, falsely attentive manner. But here no more constraint, no more pretence. In that peculiar social world of theirs it is of common knowledge that in the Nabob's busy life the hour of coffee remains the only time free for private audiences, and each desiring to profit by it, all having come there in ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... was now released from its terrible constraint. A slight tremor, born of that deliverance, passed over her face, and left it rosy. But having committed herself to the policy of hesitation she had a certain delicacy in departing ...
— The Immortal Moment - The Story of Kitty Tailleur • May Sinclair

... cross any more, and let me see you value my good will and love, Ray, by doing what I'm going to ask you to do, now. So sure was I that, when the little details were cleared up, you would feel with me, and welcome your liberty from constraint, and return to Sabina with the good news, that I asked her to meet you to-night—this very night, my dear, so that you might go home with her and make her happy. She had tea with me—I made her come, and then she went to friends, ...
— The Spinners • Eden Phillpotts

... as FARNCOMBE and LILY enter at the right-hand door at the back. There is an air of constraint and uneasiness about the girl. She comes to the nearer settee in the centre and again picks up her bouquet. FARNCOMBE follows her. They talk in subdued voices and with ...
— The 'Mind the Paint' Girl - A Comedy in Four Acts • Arthur Pinero

... and distrait, not a single smile rippled her slumbering dimples, and she answered at random. She did not once address Maurice, to whom she usually prattled in a strain of merry badinage, and he evinced the same constraint toward her. ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... had ridden on ahead with Benito and Dolores; Dave and Alaire followed leisurely. Now that the moment of their parting was at hand, they lingered by the way, delaying it as long as possible, feeling a natural constraint at ...
— Heart of the Sunset • Rex Beach



Words linked to "Constraint" :   fastener, device, bond, trammel, shackle, safety harness, shoe, restriction, brake, gag, muzzle, hamper, arrester hook, holdfast, arrester, fixing, sea anchor, drogue, skid, fastening, restraint, swaddling clothes, confinement, lead, cage, brake shoe, air bag



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