noun \ˈrān\

: a strap that is fastened to a device (called a bridle) placed on the head of an animal (such as a horse) and that is used to guide and control the animal

: the ability to limit or control something

: the power to guide or control someone or something

Full Definition of REIN

:  a strap fastened to a bit by which a rider or driver controls an animal —usually used in plural
a :  a restraining influence :  check <kept a tight rein on the proceedings>
b :  controlling or guiding power —usually used in plural <the reins of government>
:  opportunity for unhampered activity or use <gave full rein to her imagination>

Examples of REIN

  1. He has people working for him, but he has a tight rein on every part of the process.
  2. <after the president resigned, the vice president stepped in and took the reins of the company>

Illustration of REIN

Origin of REIN

Middle English reine, from Anglo-French resne, reine, from Vulgar Latin *retina, from Latin retinēre to restrain — more at retain
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Equestrian Terms

canter, cantle, curry, farrier, hunter, paddock, router, skirt, tack



Definition of REIN

transitive verb
:  to control or direct with or as if with reins
:  to check or stop by or as if by a pull at the reins <reined in her horse> <couldn't rein his impatience>
intransitive verb
archaic :  to submit to the use of reins
:  to stop or slow up one's horse or oneself by or as if by pulling the reins

First Known Use of REIN

15th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: reinaPrevious Word in the Dictionary: reimpressionAll Words Near: rein
May 03, 2015
predicate Hear it
to base (something) on something else
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears