American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A harness, consisting of a headstall, bit, and reins, fitted about a horse's head and used to restrain or guide the animal.
- n. A curb or check: put a bridle on spending.
- n. Nautical A span of chain, wire, or rope that can be secured at both ends to an object and slung from its center point.
- v. To put a bridle on.
- v. To control or restrain with or as if with a bridle. See Synonyms at restrain.
- v. To lift the head and draw in the chin as an expression of scorn or resentment.
- v. To show anger or resentment; take offense: bridling at the criticism.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That portion of the gear or harness of a horse (or other animal similarly used) which is fitted to its head, and by which it is governed and restrained, consisting usually of a head-stall, a bit, and reins, with other appendages, according to its particular form and uses. See cut under harness.
- n. An old instrument of punishment and restraint for scolds: a simpler form of branks.
- n. Figuratively, a restraint; a curb; a check.
- n. The piece in the interior of a gun-lock which covers and holds in place the tumbler and sear, being itself held by the screws on which they turn. See cut under gun-lock.
- n. The piece on the end of a plow-beam to which the draftshackle is attached; the clevis. Also called muzzle or plow-head.
- n. In machinery, a link, flange, or other attachment for limiting the movement of any part of a machine.
- n. Nautical, a chain or rope span both ends of which are made fast, the strain or power being applied to the bight.
- n. In pathology, a small band attaching two parts to each other, as two serous surfaces after inflammation, or the sides of the urethra after urethritis, or stretched across a pustule or vesicle, modifying its shape.
- n. In anatomy, a frenum (which see).
- To put a bridle on: as, to brīdle a horse.
- To restrain, guide, or govern; check, curb, or control: as, to bridle the passions.
- Synonyms To repress, master, subdue.
- To hold the head up, in the manner of a spirited horse under a strong rein, especially as an expression of pride, scorn, or resentment; assume a lofty manner so as to assert one's dignity or express indignation; toss the head; strut: generally with up.
- n. An arrangement by which a large kite, used in aërial observations, is attached to the steel wire by which it is held. The Marvin safety-bridle consists of two parts, the upper and lower bridle, attached to the main rib of the kite a few inches apart. A small copper wire, or safety-line, is inserted between them. When this wire is broken by the strain of a strong wind, the upper bridle comes into play and the lower portion goes out of use, so that the kite at once flies at a lower angle and the strain is relaxed. In the Blue Hill automatic elastic bridle an elastic band is introduced into the bridle and an increasing strain gradually alters the angle of flight.
- n. A device for controlling the speed of logs on a skid-road. It consists of a short rope with two hooks at one end which are driven into the first log of the turn; at the other end is a clamp which runs over the cable.
- n. In certain cephalopods, one of the bands which attach the funnel to the head.
- n. In pianoforte-making. Same as bridle-tape.
- To connect; join as by a bridle: as draft-rollers (in cotton-manufacturing) that are yoked together.
- n. The headgear with which a horse is directed and which carries a bit and reins.
- n. A length of line or cable attached to two parts of something to spread the force of a pull, as the rigging on a kite for attaching line.
- v. transitive To put a bridle on.
- v. transitive To check, restrain, or control with, or as if with, a bridle; as in bridle your tongue.
- v. intransitive To show hostility or resentment.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The head gear with which a horse is governed and restrained, consisting of a headstall, a bit, and reins, with other appendages.
- n. A restraint; a curb; a check.
- n. (Gun.) The piece in the interior of a gun lock, which holds in place the tumbler, sear, etc.
- n. A span of rope, line, or chain made fast as both ends, so that another rope, line, or chain may be attached to its middle.
- n. A mooring hawser.
- v. To put a bridle upon; to equip with a bridle.
- v. To restrain, guide, or govern, with, or as with, a bridle; to check, curb, or control.
- v. To hold up the head, and draw in the chin, as an expression of pride, scorn, or resentment; to assume a lofty manner; -- usually with
- v. put a bridle on
- n. the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess
- n. headgear for a horse; includes a headstall and bit and reins to give the rider or driver control
- v. anger or take offense
- v. respond to the reins, as of horses
- From Old English brīdel, from Proto-Germanic *brigdilaz (Wiktionary)
- Middle English bridel, from Old English brīdel. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Jenny twitched the bridle from the perspiring groom and minced up to the prisoner.”
“I ceased treating her too kindly - snubbing, and riding with a curb-bridle, is what she needs.”
“Yet I dare say the chorus of a musical comedy would not be awestruck -- would, indeed, 'bridle' -- if one unrolled to them their illustrious pedigree.”
“As a jetski it's a big fail, but it would make a half way decent horse head if it was all brown and the bridle was a bit less...um...bondagey.”
“The reins were secured by chain-work, and the front-stall of the bridle was a steel plate, with apertures for the eyes and nostrils, having in the midst a short, sharp pike, projecting from the forehead of the horse like the horn of the fabulous unicorn.”
“The old saddles are tied on with twine; one side of the bridle is a worn-out strap and the other a rope.”
“McLellan cavalry saddle, with a battered brass peak, and the bridle is a rotten leather strap on one side and a strand of rope on the other.”
“At the next change a bridle was a thing unheard of, and when I suggested that the creature would open her mouth voluntarily if the bit were pressed close to her teeth, the standers-by mockingly said,”
“There was a ribbon hanging under her chin which the old lady called a bridle, and when”
“Fig. 78 is a so-called bridle-joint at the corner of a frame.”
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