Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Constraint and Restraint

As per the norm, it is hard to live without restrictions in many aspects of human life. Despite the fact that no-one likes these restrictions, they are sometimes unavoidable and they set limits in many things. Restrictions can be set by an individual, the law, or human instinct. Constraint and restraint are two words which show different types of restrictions, and, though used interchangeably, are very different. 


What is Constraint?

A constraint is a restriction or limitation on someone or something. It is also used in a situation whereby there is uneasiness between two people in reference to their relations. Constraints are prompted by one’s own internal and deeply rooted standards and values. A person may face political, time, legal, economic and financial constraints, just to name a few. 

For example, time can be a restraining factor for one to finish some work. It can also be used in a scene showing the level of reserve in relations among people. An example in a sentence explaining this would be ‘I spoke to him today after such a long time without constraint’. 


What is Restraint?

A restraint is the act of holding back. It can also refer to the action of keeping something or someone under control, moderate behavior or self-control, a device used for restraining, and restriction of freedom of movement or personal liberty. 


Similarities Between Constraint and Restraint 

  • Both refer to limitations placed upon people and things


Differences between Constraint and Restraint

  1. Definition of Constraint Vs. Restraint

While a constraint is a restriction or limitation on someone or something, a restraint is an act of holding back or keeping something or someone under control. 

  1. Cause of Constraint Vs. Restraint

While constraints are prompted by one’s own internal and deeply rooted standards and values, restraints are caused by both individuals and other people. An example is restrictions by the law on certain activities.   

  1. Common reference

A constraint more often refers to a situation or a problem. For example, a financial constraint is a problem. A restraint, on the other hand, refers to a restriction on an act or an individual. For instance, the court may issue a restraining order on an individual. 

Constraint vs. Restraint: Comparison Table


Summary of Constraint vs. Restraint

It is important to understand the usage of the words constraints and restraints. Whereas the word constraint is used to deter someone from performing a certain action, a restraint is an act of keeping something or someone in control. 


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References :

[0]Crabb George. English synonymes, with copious illustrations and explanations: drawn from the best writers. Harper & brothers Publishers, 1858.  https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=228TAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA220&dq=constraint+and+restraint&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXpebUlf3eAhVTURUIHTTqAA0Q6AEIQDAE#v=onepage&q=constraint%20and%20restraint&f=false

[1]Harten Gus. Sovereign Choices and Sovereign Constraints: Judicial Restraint in Investment Treaty Arbitration. OUP Oxford Publishers, 2013.  https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=BdLiAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=types+of+constraints+and+restraints&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizjPvOl_3eAhWyThUIHScOAgQQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

[2]Hogan Sean. The Judicial Branch of State Government: People, Process, and Politics. ABC-CLIO Publisher, 2006.  https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=ong5k8n97P4C&pg=PA73&dq=restraining+order&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjY7sqFmf3eAhXWUhUIHfu8AAI4ChDoAQhQMAg#v=onepage&q=restraining%20order&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leg_restraint01_2003-06-02.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4727475559

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