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rein

[reyn]
noun
  1. 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.
  2. any of certain other straps or thongs forming part of a harness, as a checkrein.
  3. any means of curbing, controlling, or directing; check; restraint.
  4. reins, the controlling or directing power: the reins of government.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to check or guide (a horse or other animal) by exerting pressure on a bridle bit by means of the reins.
  2. to curb; restrain; control.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to obey the reins: a horse that reins well.
  2. to rein a horse or other animal.
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Idioms
  1. draw rein, to curtail one's speed or progress; halt: The rider saw the snake and drew rein sharply.
  2. 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.
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Origin of rein

1300–50; (noun) Middle English rene, reine, raine < Old French re(s)ne < Vulgar Latin *retina, noun derivative of Latin retinēre to hold back, retain; (v.) Middle English rainen, reinen, derivative of the noun
Related formsrein·less, adjectiveun·reined, adjective
Can be confusedrain reign rein

Synonyms for rein

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unreined

Historical Examples of unreined

  • How like a mounting devil in the heart Rules the unreined ambition!

    Mosaics of Grecian History

    Marcius Willson

  • In Santuzza she exploited her capacity for unreined intensity of expression.

    Interpreters

    Carl Van Vechten

  • Up to the watering-trough Ree drove, however, and unreined the horse, that it might drink.

    Far Past the Frontier

    James A. Braden

  • We were just in a little grove, and grandpa stopped and unreined the horses and fed 'em and said, "We'll have our lunch here."

    Mitch Miller

    Edgar Lee Masters

  • His imagination, now unreined, indulged itself in the creation and invention of various hypotheses.


British Dictionary definitions for unreined

rein

noun
  1. (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
  2. a similar device used to control a very young child
  3. any form or means of controlto take up the reins of government
  4. the direction in which a rider turns (in phrases such as on a left (or right) rein, change the rein)
  5. something that restrains, controls, or guides
  6. give free rein or give a free rein to allow considerable freedom; remove restraints
  7. keep a tight rein on to control carefully; limitwe have to keep a tight rein on expenditure
  8. on a long rein with the reins held loosely so that the horse is relatively unconstrained
  9. 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
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verb
  1. (tr) to check, restrain, hold back, or halt with or as if with reins
  2. to control or guide (a horse) with a rein or reinsthey reined left
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See also rein in

Word Origin for rein

C13: from Old French resne, from Latin retinēre to hold back, from re- + tenēre to hold; see restrain

xref

See reign
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

Word Origin and History for unreined

rein

n.

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.

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rein

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with unreined

rein

see draw in the reins; free hand (rein) tight rein on.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.