Restrict vs constrict

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Restrict and constrict are two words that are easily confused. They have subtly different meanings. We will look at the definitions of restrict and constrict, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Restrict means to put limits on something, to keep something within certain boundaries and under control, to limit movement, to limit choices. Restrict is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are restricts, restricted, restricting, restriction. The word restrict is derived from the Latin word restrictus which means bound, confined.

Constrict means to make narrower or become narrower, especially by a squeezing action. A secondary meaning of constrict is to limit or inhibit something. Related words are constricts, constricted, constricting, constriction. The word constrict is derived from the Latin word constrictus, which means bound together. Remember, restrict means to limit or put boundaries on something, constrict primarily means to make something narrower particularly through the use of a squeezing action, it is sometimes used figuratively to mean to limit something.


Four Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will restrict prescriptions of over the counter medicines such as paracetamol or antihistamines as well as gluten-free biscuits and cakes. (The Lincolnshire Reporter)

Just being women does not make them submissive, but the mindset of society and social situations restrict them to the margin, said academicians and professionals during the seminar ‘Forget the Second World Story’, organized on the International Human Rights Day by Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation, on Saturday. (The Times of India)

The researchers noted that the cooling effects of the cap cooling systems caused the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the circulation of blood to the area. (Nature World News)

“Every degree of temperature you add to the muscle causes muscle fibers to constrict,” Nelson said. (The Mining Journal)