- 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 reining
Kim Jong Un, therefore, does not have to worry about Beijing reining him in.‘The State of War’—Kim Jong-un’s Bombastic, and Ominous, Bluster
Gordon G. Chang
March 30, 2013
Now to be fair, Brooks explicitly identifies price controls as part of reining in rising health care costs.Price Controls: Effective Political Poison
October 2, 2012
They will also meet the archbishop of Seattle, Peter Sartain, who has been given the task of reining in the American nuns.Nuns React Differently to Vatican’s Condemnation
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Jesse Ellison
June 8, 2012
Securing the implementation of health-care reform and reining in Medicare spending would be another priority.Will a Reelected President Obama Face More Gridlock in 2013?
December 23, 2011
Republican senators backed the idea of reining in Fannie and Freddie.Suit Against Fannie and Freddie Execs Ignores Pols Also to Blame
December 17, 2011
"Why, we should be on his land now," said Mr. Stewart, reining up the horse.In the Valley
Lindley was reining in his own steed to keep pace with the white horse.
Then, reining about, he wheeled his horse to take the back trail.Laramie Holds the Range</p>
Frank H. Spearman
Reining in, as he was close to the animals, he fired, and brought one of them down.Hendricks the Hunter
Reining in his lean horse, he turned in his cart to call to the Sheriff.Robin Hood
- (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 reining
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.