My wife and I got to talking about the meaning of the words restraint and constraint or more specifically the differences between the two. According to dictionary.com the definitions for restraint is as follows. Restraint The act of restraining or the condition of being restrained. Loss or abridgment of freedom. An influence that inhibits or restrains; a limitation. An instrument or a means of restraining. Control or repression of feelings; constraint. [/list=1] and Contsraint as The threat or use of force to prevent, restrict, or dictate the action or thought of others. The state of being restricted or confined within prescribed bounds: soon tired of the constraint of military life. One that restricts, limits, or regulates; a check: ignored all moral constraints in his pursuit of success. Embarrassed reserve or reticence; awkwardness: “All constraint had vanished between the two, and they began to talk” (Edith Wharton). [/list=1] Both the definitions make reference to the other but I don't believe they are synonyms since you can't simply use one in place of the other but I'm haveing a hard time clarifying the differece between them.