Definition of restrained in US English:

restrained

adjective

  • 1Characterized by reserve or moderation; unemotional or dispassionate.

    ‘he had restrained manners’
    • ‘In Delicious Chemistry the elements of restrained instrumentation, intelligent arrangement and superbly controlled vocals come together into a powerful compound.’
    • ‘The silent feature marked his move from silly comedies to the restrained and earnest dramas that would establish his reputation as a world-class filmmaker.’
    • ‘Even when talking in the most restrained of voices, Hugo's lilt would still rise up above all others.’
    • ‘Bambooque developed his own moderate and restrained form.’
    • ‘The choice of this elegant townhouse space gave the exhibition a relatively restrained tone, especially in light of Geers's reputation as a provocateur.’
    • ‘His mother's restrained manner, in addition to decreased work hours, wear out and depress Paul so much that he suffers greatly.’
    • ‘Despite the presence of a couple of slightly more restrained pieces (including the closing ‘Japan’), Humcrush is packed with incident.’
    • ‘Now, in the restrained language of the central bank, a substantial further fall in the inflation rate would be ‘unwelcome.’’
    • ‘The count displays the inner calm, the ideal of restrained, and learned manners required of a gentleman.’
    • ‘To his credit, it is one of the most restrained and subtle disks I have heard in a long time with many very nice moments that will definitely keep me coming back for a listen from time to time.’
    • ‘The restrained editing style heightens the intensity and allows greater scrutiny of the characters.’
    • ‘His conception of a restrained aristocratic manliness is as applicable to the potentially hubristic - or tyrannical - prince as it is to the courtier.’
    • ‘In its place is a relentlessly restrained duet on which Tricky shadows the breathy lead vocal by new collaborator Constanza Francavilla in a voice that barely rises above a whisper.’
    • ‘Vickers understood the nature of evil and the essence of Britten's ambivalence; his robust tenor voice was more convincing than the restrained tones of the reedy Pears.’
    • ‘Her latest work, Geometry of Quiet, which received its North American premiere, shows Brown in a mood of restrained, judiciously measured eloquence.’
    • ‘Al Pacino, with a superbly restrained and world-weary performance, plays Will Dormer, a detective who has come to Alaska to help the local police solve the violent death of a teenage girl.’
    • ‘Field's film has two spectacular performances, by Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson, though the overall tone is rather restrained and poetic.’
    • ‘A restrained yet upbeat percussion on tracks such as ‘My Beautiful White Dog’ are a nice counterpoint to the overall melancholy of the disk.’
    • ‘This is simply too much visual clutter for a site that should be treated with restrained dignity.’
    • ‘Mary Astor and Cecil Kellaway turn in more restrained performances, and Astor in particular brings a weary gravity to her role that's quite effective.’
    self-controlled, controlled, self-restrained, moderate, not given to excesses, sober, steady, phlegmatic, unemotional, inhibited, undemonstrative, unassuming, quiet, calm, thoughtful, reticent, discreet, guarded
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    1. 1.1 (of color, clothes, decoration, etc.) understated and subtle; not excessively showy or ornate.
      • ‘The principal rooms are finished with a restrained elegance.’
      • ‘The same sale yielded another star lot evocative of time and place: a pair of rosewood bedside steps-cabinets with restrained gilt decoration and marble tops.’
      • ‘Their restrained, sober forms and motifs characterise what is now known as the ‘Queen Anne’ style.’
      • ‘The restrained colour palette of whites teamed with off-white limestone-effect floors and a range of pale fittings enhances the already powerful sense of natural light.’
      • ‘The architects have woven a rich tapestry of restrained luxury into the constrained fabric of an early nineteenth century neoclassical seminary of high heritage significance.’
      • ‘Osmosis Part 1 is a wheeling, plaintively calling piece with restrained, squeezed-chord electronics from Frisell.’
      • ‘Throughout Misery is a Butterfly, all recording tracks share this remarkably restrained touch.’
      • ‘By contrast, a Scottish artiste might play to sodden Glasgow shipwrights, a restrained middle class audience and a temperance rally in the same week.’
      • ‘The style is heightened by the restrained color palette and decidedly retro feel to the animation.’
      • ‘He gave his dynamic Futurist paintings a Cubist conception of space, often combined with the extremely restrained colours that characterized the work of Picasso and Braque at this time.’
      • ‘Alexander Sokurov has a surprisingly ornate clock in his otherwise cool and restrained St Petersburg flat.’
      • ‘Closed, the cabinet appears as a minimalist cube - a solid and restrained form that belies its complex and interactive quality.’
      • ‘The restrained colors and the lack of multicolored pictures create the image of a solid, reliable product - and the new mainboard from ASUS is exactly like that.’
      • ‘Back in Florence by 1564, he was soon involved in Vasari's projects, though painting in a more restrained and monumental style than Vasari's extreme Mannerism.’
      • ‘Metallic fabrics broke the monotony of a restrained colour palette dominated by greys and blush pink.’
      • ‘The vivacity of former years gave way to a more restrained and meditative art.’
      muted, soft, pale, subdued, discreet, subtle, quiet, unobtrusive, unostentatious, understated, artistic, tasteful, graceful
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    2. 1.2 Kept under control; prevented from freedom of movement or action.
      ‘a patch of land turned into a restrained wilderness’
      • ‘The team placed food randomly around the restrained monkey, and it ‘thought’ the required sequences to get the arm to pick up the food, through trial and error.’
      • ‘In that brief glance Vronsky had time to notice the restrained animation that played over her face and fluttered between her shining eyes and the barely noticeable smile that curved her red lips.’
      • ‘She didn't meet his gaze as she answered him; her voice heavy with restrained emotion.’
      • ‘She brings Griet to textured life with the subtlety of her posture, the restrained musculature of her face, and the subdued excitement that propels her movements.’
      • ‘So in return for having a restrained control over evil and its actions, the people made this being their ruler.’
      • ‘Finally, he spoke up once more, his voice broken with restrained tears.’
      • ‘When some actors tackle simple roles they lay into the character heavily to the point of caricature, but Calder elegantly captures all the restrained physicality and emotional nuances.’
      • ‘He takes the key from Jewel, grabs the two restrained guards and tosses them bodily into her cell and locks them in before joining the rest of the group.’
      • ‘Restrained eating is viewed as a mechanism to decrease body dissatisfaction through weight loss.’
      • ‘His performance provides a sober anchor to Kitano's barely restrained jubilation.’
      • ‘Finally, restrained eating is hypothesized to be associated with negative affect.’
      • ‘His voice hardened with barely restrained control.’
      • ‘Restrained eating - applying excessive control - also leads to overeating.’
      • ‘A restrained intimacy thus develops between these two simply because of the circumstances.’
      • ‘The majority of the songs ebb and flow with a sort of restrained, morbidly surreal sadness, captured more in snatches of imagery and wordless cries than in any concrete narrative.’
      • ‘She was incredibly collected and calm, without a hint of restrained anger.’
      • ‘There was carefully restrained anger in his voice and Becca winced when she heard it.’
      • ‘And, although some of the minor roles are under-developed, the show possesses a restrained power, which can only get stronger when the technical problems are sorted.’
      • ‘Tessa just stared for a second, her eyes red, glistening with restrained tears.’
    3. 1.3 Held in place (used especially of a person in a vehicle secured by a seat belt)
      ‘the head and chest injuries that even restrained drivers can suffer through impact with the steering wheel’
      • ‘Unrestrained passengers had a higher risk of being fatally injured compared to restrained passengers and it was found that seat belts are 55% effective in preventing fatalities.’
      • ‘Even for adults, side impacts cause the most fatalities to properly restrained passengers.’

Pronunciation

restrained

/rəˈstrānd//rəˈstreɪnd/