• synonyms


noun Law.
  1. the act of distraining; a distress.
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Origin of distraint

1720–30; distrain + -t, modeled on constraint, restraint
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for distraint

Historical Examples

  • Oh, it's very simple; a judgment and then a distraint—that's about it!

    Madame Bovary

    Gustave Flaubert

  • At Michaelmas, 1817, the Duke of Somerset had made a distraint for rent.

  • On the house and property a distraint had been levied for moneys due which had not been paid.


    Frederick Lawton

  • Distrain′ment; Distrain′or, Distrain′er; Distraint′, seizure of goods.

  • This morning a letter has arrived, threatening a distraint upon our goods unless a large sum of money be paid by to-morrow.

British Dictionary definitions for distraint


  1. law the act or process of distraining; distress
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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