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I'm looking for a word that can be used right next to the word "constraint" in different grammatical structures, but means the opposite. It should mean "provide options to".

For example:

A company both constrains and XXX its employees.

A company puts both constraints and XXX on its employees

A company both constrains and XXX the behaviour of its employees.

I could think of words like "enables", which kind of makes sense for:

A company both constrains and enables the behaviour of its employees.

But doesn't make sense for:

WRONG: A company puts both constraints and (en)abilities (?) on its employees.

Is there a word that is an antonym of constraint and also allows for the same syntactical usage?

  • But what do you mean by constrains here? – NVZ Jun 25 '17 at 5:41
  • Try 'liberates'. Of course, one can't 'put liberations on' anyone, but in the first and third examples it could work. Another idea is to say 'a company both restricts and unrestricts the behaviour of its employees'. There's a nice symmetry to that phrasing, although I'm not sure it's true. In my experience, companies both limit and restrict their employees, but that's digressing from the topic. – EditingFrank Jun 25 '17 at 5:49
  • I just came up with the word "enabler". A company puts both constraints and enablers on its employees. The problem is, that the word does not exist yet in this way, as far as I can tell. – user56834 Jun 25 '17 at 6:22
  • @Programmer2134 enabler does exist in dictionaries. Check if that means what you want. google.com/#q=define+enablers – NVZ Jun 25 '17 at 6:45
  • I guess the problem is that "enabler" means too much that there is an actual concrete entity (the enabler) that enables someone to do something, whereas a constraint does not need to be a concrete entity, it could be something more abstract, such as, there is a time constraint on a task, without referring to any particular entity that is enforcing this constraint. – user56834 Jun 25 '17 at 7:06
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Empower -- Vocabulary

Empower means "give power or authority to." When you educate children and believe in them, you empower those kids to go after their dreams.

"A company both constrains and empowers its employees."

Your other example sentences will need a bit of rephrasing to use this.

  • well how would you rephrase them though? that's my main problem. – user56834 Jun 25 '17 at 6:21
  • @Programmer2134 Your question was a single-word request, not a request for proofreading or writing advice. So, I don't think it's our duty to rephrase sentences for you. ;) – NVZ Jun 25 '17 at 7:12
  • no my question was specifically about a word that would fit the same syntactic structures as "constrains" does, and I think empower doesn't do that. That's why I asked. – user56834 Jun 25 '17 at 10:05
  • To pair with constraints, you could use empowerments. – hatchet - Reinstate Monica Jun 25 '17 at 13:32
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Liberate -- ODO

verb 1.2 Release (someone) from a state or situation that limits freedom of thought or behavior.
‘the use of computers can liberate students from the constraints of disabilities’

"A company both constrains and liberates its employees."

Your other example sentences will need a bit of rephrasing to use this.

  • well how would you rephrase them though? that's my main problem. – user56834 Jun 25 '17 at 6:21
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There are several good words being offered here. The difficulty is, I think, using the word "puts" for whatever it is you are constrasting with "constraints". More natural is "grants" or "gives". So, I'd be inclined to move "puts" to after the word "both". Then one way to word your second example would be:

A company both puts constraints upon and grants freedoms to its employees.

Freedom count noun

  • a political right
  • franchise, privilege

Merriam-Webster

As that definition suggests, others words which could replace freedoms here might be privileges or rights.

  • I agree, it is trying to use puts on in relation to both constraints and its antonym which has caused some of the difficulties. Plus one for a clear answer. – BoldBen Jun 25 '17 at 13:59

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