distrain

verb

dis·​train di-ˈstrān How to pronounce distrain (audio)
distrained; distraining; distrains

transitive verb

1
: to force or compel to satisfy an obligation by means of a distress
2
: to seize by distress

intransitive verb

: to levy a distress
distrainable adjective
distrainer noun
or less commonly distrainor
di-ˈstrā-nər How to pronounce distrain (audio)
-ˌstrā-ˈnȯr

Word History

Etymology

Middle English distreynen, from Anglo-French destreindre, from Medieval Latin distringere, from Latin, to draw apart, detain, from dis- + stringere to bind tight — more at strain

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of distrain was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near distrain

Cite this Entry

“Distrain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distrain. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Legal Definition

distrain

verb
dis·​train di-ˈstrān How to pronounce distrain (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to force or compel to satisfy an obligation by means of a distress
2
: to seize by distress compare enter

intransitive verb

: to levy a distress
distrainable adjective
distrainer noun
or distrainor
di-ˈstrā-nər, ˌdis-trā-ˈnōr

History and Etymology for distrain

Anglo-French destreindre, literally, to constrict, force, from Old French, from Late Latin distringere to hinder, punish, from Latin, to pull in different directions, distract, from dis- apart + stringere to draw tight

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