Definition of constrict in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈstrikt/


[with object]
1Make narrower, especially by encircling pressure: chemicals that constrict the blood vessels (as adjective constricted) constricted air passages
More example sentences
  • It increases the heart rate and blood pressure, constricts the small blood vessels under your skin, causes changes in blood composition and metabolism, and increases the production of hormones.
  • Because high blood pressure constricts the blood vessels in the uterus that supply the baby with oxygen and nutrients, the baby's growth may be slowed.
  • Doctors treat shock by stabilizing blood pressure with medications that increase the heart rate, constrict large blood vessels, or increase the volume of blood the heart pumps.
narrow, make narrower, tighten, compress, contract, squeeze, strangle, strangulate
archaic straiten
1.1 [no object] Become narrower: he felt his throat constrict
More example sentences
  • Without warning my throat constricted and my eyes filled with tears.
  • This junk causes your throat and nose to constrict, immediately reducing lung capacity.
  • Her throat constricts, and she swallows painfully, trying to keep her voice steady.
1.2(Of a snake) coil around (prey) in order to asphyxiate it.
Example sentences
  • But it takes about four minutes for a rat to die of asphyxiation, whereas a snake can constrict a rodent to death in just one.
  • Would you rather be bitten by a poisonous snake or constricted by a python?
  • The pythons have around 250 teeth and catch their prey by biting, grabbing, then wrapping themselves around the prey and constricting it.
1.3Inhibit or restrict: the fear and the reality of crime constrict many people’s lives
More example sentences
  • And how does your perception of reality enlarge or constrict the life that calls you forward?
  • Despite two illustrious parents, the company has been severely constricted for cash.
  • But this meant that the economic life of Europe was severely constricted.



Pronunciation: /kənˈstriktiv/
Example sentences
  • Nowadays, many couples are wary of marriage, seeing it as a constrictive arrangement.
  • Gradually living becomes easier and every thought and action is in tune with ourselves - an affirmation that removes all constrictive, knotty obstacles.
  • The immigration restrictions on the entering of the country for any adult, but certainly for a pregnant adult, can be constrictive.


Mid 18th century: from Latin constrict- 'bound tightly together', from the verb constringere (see constrain).

Words that rhyme with constrict

addict, afflict, conflict, contradict, convict, delict, depict, evict, hand-picked, inflict, interdict, Pict, predict, reconvict, strict

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·strict

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