[ dih-streyn ]
/ dɪˈstreɪn /

verb (used with object)

to constrain by seizing and holding goods, etc., in pledge for rent, damages, etc., or in order to obtain satisfaction of a claim.
to levy a distress upon.

verb (used without object)

to levy a distress.

Origin of distrain

1250–1300; Middle English distreinen < Anglo-French, Old French destreindre < Latin distringere to stretch out, equivalent to di- di-2 + stringere to draw tight; see strain1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for distrain

British Dictionary definitions for distrain

/ (dɪˈstreɪn) /


law to seize (personal property) by way of distress

Derived forms of distrain

distrainable, adjectivedistrainment, noundistrainor or distrainer, noun

Word Origin for distrain

C13: from Old French destreindre, from Latin distringere to impede, from dis- 1 + stringere to draw tight
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012