Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Either of two long narrow straps attached to each end of the bit of a bridle and used by a rider or driver to control a horse or other animal.
  • noun A means of restraining or checking.
  • noun A means of controlling or directing.
  • intransitive verb To check or hold back by the use of reins. Often used with in or up.
  • intransitive verb To restrain or control. Often used with in.
  • intransitive verb To control a horse, for example, with reins. Often used with in or up.
  • idiom (draw rein) To stop a horse, for example, by pulling on the reins.
  • idiom (draw in the reins) To slow down or stop a horse or other animal by putting pressure on the reins.
  • idiom (draw in the reins) To restrain or control.
  • idiom (free/full) To release from restraints; allow to go unchecked.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete singular of reins.
  • noun The strap of a bridle, fastened to the curb or snaffle on each side, by which the rider or driver restrains and guides the animal driven; any thong or cord used for the same purpose. See cut under harness.
  • noun A rope of twisted and greased rawhide.
  • noun plural The handles of blacksmiths' tongs, on which the ring or coupler slides.
  • noun Figuratively, any means of curbing, restraining, or governing; government; restraint.
  • To govern, guide, or restrain by reins or a bridle.
  • To restrain; control.
  • To carry stiffly, as a horse does its head or neck under a bearing-rein.
  • To obey the reins.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The strap of a bridle, fastened to the curb or snaffle on each side, by which the rider or driver governs the horse.
  • noun Hence, an instrument or means of curbing, restraining, or governing; government; restraint.
  • noun to give license to; to leave withouut restrain.
  • noun to take the guidance or government; to assume control.
  • intransitive verb rare To be guided by reins.
  • transitive verb To govern or direct with the reins.
  • transitive verb To restrain; to control; to check.
  • transitive verb to cause (a person) to slow down or cease some activity; -- to rein in is used commonly of superiors in a chain of command, ordering a subordinate to moderate or cease some activity deemed excessive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A strap or rope attached to the bridle or bit, used to control a horse, animal or young child.
  • verb To direct or stop a horse by using reins.
  • verb this sense?) (usually "rein in") To stop or restrain a horse. Also used figuratively
  • noun archaic, chiefly in plural A kidney.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun one of a pair of long straps (usually connected to the bit or the headpiece) used to control a horse
  • verb control and direct with or as if by reins
  • noun any means of control
  • verb keep in check
  • verb stop or check by or as if by a pull at the reins
  • verb stop or slow up one's horse or oneself by or as if by pulling the reins

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French resne, reine, from Vulgar Latin *retina, from Latin retinēre, to retain; see retain.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Norman reyne, from Old French resne (Modern French rêne), from Vulgar Latin *retina, from Classical Latin retineō ("to retain"), from re- + teneō.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman reines, Middle French reins, and their source, Latin rēnēs.

Examples

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.