Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Rein \Rein\ (r?n), n. [F. r[^e]ne, fr. (assumed) LL. retina, fr. L. retinere to hold back. See Retain.]
The strap of a bridle, fastened to the curb or snaffle on each side, by which the rider or driver governs the horse.
This knight laid hold upon his reyne.
Hence, an instrument or means of curbing, restraining, or governing; government; restraint. ``Let their eyes rove without rein.''
To give rein, To give the rein to, to give license to; to leave withouut restrain.
To take the reins, to take the guidance or government; to assume control.
Rein \Rein\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Reined (r?nd); p. pr. & vb. n. Reining.]
To govern or direct with the reins; as, to rein a horse one way or another.
He mounts and reins his horse.
To restrain; to control; to check.
Being once chafed, he can not Be reined again to temperance.
To rein in or To rein up, (a) to check the speed of, or cause to stop, by drawing the reins. Hence, (a) 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.
Rein \Rein\, v. i.
To be guided by reins. [R.]
n. one of a pair of long straps (usually connected to the bit or the headpiece) used to control a horse
any means of control; "he took up the reins of government"
stop or slow up one's horse or oneself by or as if by pulling the reins; "They reined in in front of the post office" [syn: rein in]
stop or check by or as if by a pull at the reins; "He reined in his horses in front of the post office" [syn: rein in]
Reins are items of horse tack, used to direct a horse or other animal used for riding or driving.
Rein may also refer to:
- Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise (REIN), a type of electrical interference
- Rein Abbey, Austria
- Rein Abbey, Norway
- Rein orchid or Piperia, a genus of the orchid family Orchidaceae
- Reins, an archaic term for the kidneys
Etymology 1 n. 1 A strap or rope attached to the bridle or bit, used to control a horse, animal or young child. 2 (context figurative English) An instrument or means of curbing, restraining, or governing. vb. 1 To direct or stop a horse by using reins. 2 To restrain; to control; to check. Etymology 2
n. 1 (context now rare archaic chiefly in plural English) A kidney. 2 The inward impulses; the affections and passions, formerly supposed to be located in the area of the kidneys.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
c.1300, "strap fastened to a bridle," from Old French rene, resne "reins, bridle strap, laces" (Modern French rêne), probably from Vulgar Latin *retina "a bond, check," back-formation from Latin retinere "hold back" (see retain). To give something free rein is originally of horses.
c.1300, from rein (n.). Figurative extension "put a check on" first recorded 1580s. Related: Reined; reining. To rein up "halt" (1550s) is from the way to make a horse stop by pulling up on the reins.
Usage examples of "rein".
Reining in, Seregil studied the wall of branches for a moment, then dismounted and motioned for Alec to follow.
Wrapping the reins more securely around his fist, Alec coaxed the nervous mare along with soothing words as her hooves struck loose stones.
Unable to free his hand from the reins, Alec was jerked off balance and swung out over the cliff edge.
Nysander asked, reining in while Seregil and Alec pulled up their hoods.
Then I knew them for the foemen and their deeds to be I knew, And I gathered the reins together to ride down the hill amain, To die with a good stroke stricken and slay ere I was slain.
The Badgeless Maces hauled back on their reins, barely managing to bring their mounts to a stop before the dragoneers.
The soldiers, riding up with shouts and derision, had to gather in reins to hold other bawling beasts.
Then my lord turned to me while the king took no heed, and no man in the ring of knights moved from his place, and he set me in the saddle, and turned about to mount, and there came a lord from the ring of men gloriously bedight, and he bowed lowly before my lord, and held his stirrup for him: but lightly he leapt up into the saddle, and took my reins and led me along with him, so that he and the king and I went on together, and all the baronage and their folk shouted and tossed sword and spear aloft and followed after us.
The General reined in, doffed his bicorne hat, then cast a cold glance at Spears and Sharpe.
The Corporal had managed to pull up Billy, but the two ponies had shot past him, both the children crying out with delight, and while galloping on to catch them Billy had come down in a boggy place, and the corporal supposed that he himself must have been a bit stunned, for when he got up he found that he had let go of his rein and that Billy and everybody else had disappeared.
I could see better then, and if I did by mischance step into a boggy patch I could hold the reins and let Sultana pull me out.
Shanna would have reined the animal away to give the man wide berth, but as she passed by the bondsman, a tan arm shot out and firmly grasped the bridle of her steed.
I crawled under the seat with the blanket wrapped around me, Mary clucked her tongue and gave the reins a shake, and the buckboard was on the move again.
Only if he could arrange for Bute to serve under him, could he put his reins on that ambitious man.
Cugel tried to rein the beast up and around in a caracole, but it merely squatted low to the ground, then padded out upon the road.