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
Related formsdis·train·a·ble, adjectivedis·train·ee, noundis·train·ment, noundis·trai·nor, dis·train·er, nounun·dis·trained, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distrain

Historical Examples of distrain

British Dictionary definitions for distrain



law to seize (personal property) by way of distress
Derived Formsdistrainable, 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