- the kidneys.
- the region of the kidneys, or the lower part of the back.
- (especially in Biblical use) the seat of the feelings or affections, formerly identified with the kidneys.
Origin of reins
- 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 reins
Two years later, he had released all Soviet dissidents from prison and was beginning to loosen the reins on Soviet bloc countries.How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Radicalized Putin
November 9, 2014
She quickly rose through the ranks and was soon given the reins by Mays and Scott.It Was All a Dream: Drama, Bullshit, and the Rebirth of The Source Magazine
October 14, 2014
The driver in his black suit, white shirt, and black tie shook the reins, coaxing the white horses ahead.Mardi Gras Indian Chief Larry Bannock’s Final Ride
May 16, 2014
Louie Mueller handed the reins of the business to his son, Bobby, in 1974, and today it is run by Bobby's son, Wayne.The Texas Church of Beef
Jane & Michael Stern
April 27, 2014
Most obviously, “the anti-gay bullies who came before us” exercised the reins of power, either directly or indirectly.In Gay Rights Fights, Bullies Love to Play the Victim
April 4, 2014
He could see them buckling on belts while they were riding with the reins in their teeth.
He jerked sharply up on the reins, and she broke into a staggering trot.
Then he threw the reins down on the backs of his patient horses, and descended.In the Midst of Alarms
He leaned forward a little, got a fresh grip on the reins and took the whip.
Only their master's familiar voice and firm grip on the reins held them there at all.
- archaic the kidneys or loins
- (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 reins
see rein (n.). Figurative sense "means of controlling; control, check, restraint" is from early 14c.
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.
- The kidneys, loins, or lower back.