- Often reins. a leather strap, fastened to each end of the bit of a bridle, by which the rider or driver controls a horse or other animal by pulling so as to exert pressure on the bit.
- any of certain other straps or thongs forming part of a harness, as a checkrein.
- any means of curbing, controlling, or directing; check; restraint.
- reins, the controlling or directing power: the reins of government.
- to check or guide (a horse or other animal) by exerting pressure on a bridle bit by means of the reins.
- to curb; restrain; control.
- to obey the reins: a horse that reins well.
- to rein a horse or other animal.
- draw rein, to curtail one's speed or progress; halt: The rider saw the snake and drew rein sharply.
- give rein to, to give complete freedom to; indulge freely: to give rein to one's imagination.Also give free rein to, give full rein to.
Origin of rein
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for reined
Like his old man, he keeps it reined in, but when talking about fishing, a true regret seeps out.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
And both strategies have been reined in by the new police commissioner, William Bratton.NYPD Will Continue Spying in the Muslim Community With Undercovers, Informants
April 16, 2014
Winkelmann reined in Minky and pals so we could stretch our legs near “Old Bettles.”Visiting the Arctic Circle…Before It’s Irreversibly Changed
Terry Greene Sterling
April 1, 2014
Most important, we now know that street violence is not inevitable—it can be reined in.Chicago Murder Rate Surges as New York’s Drops to Record Low
July 2, 2012
He reined in federal spending by as much as $2.5 trillion and set limits for how much the nation can rack up in debt.Debt Deal’s Winners & Losers
August 2, 2011
He reined the pinto under the trees to look up at that tall, black mass.Way of the Lawless
Thereupon he reined his horse backward through the thickest of the crowd.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
He took off his hat to my companion, and reined in his horse.Wilfrid Cumbermede
He, too, reined up with a jolt and leaped out of the saddle.
For he reined in his horse, and waited for the officer to come up.
- (often plural) one of a pair of long straps, usually connected together and made of leather, used to control a horse, running from the side of the bit or the headstall to the hand of the rider, driver, or trainer
- a similar device used to control a very young child
- any form or means of controlto take up the reins of government
- the direction in which a rider turns (in phrases such as on a left (or right) rein, change the rein)
- something that restrains, controls, or guides
- give free rein or give a free rein to allow considerable freedom; remove restraints
- keep a tight rein on to control carefully; limitwe have to keep a tight rein on expenditure
- on a long rein with the reins held loosely so that the horse is relatively unconstrained
- shorten the reins to take up the reins so that the distance between hand and bit is lessened, in order that the horse may be more collected
- (tr) to check, restrain, hold back, or halt with or as if with reins
- to control or guide (a horse) with a rein or reinsthey reined left
Word Origin and History for reined
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.