\ ˈrān How to pronounce rein (audio) \

Definition of rein

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a strap fastened to a bit by which a rider or driver controls an animal usually used in plural
2a : a restraining influence : check kept a tight rein on the proceedings
b : controlling or guiding power usually used in pluralthe reins of government
3 : opportunity for unhampered activity or use gave full rein to her imagination


reined; reining; reins

Definition of rein (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to control or direct with or as if with reins
2 : 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

1 : to stop or slow up one's horse or oneself by or as if by pulling the reins
2 archaic : to submit to the use of reins

Illustration of rein

Illustration of rein


R rein 1

In the meaning defined above

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Examples of rein in a Sentence

Noun He has people working for him, but he has a tight rein on every part of the process. after the president resigned, the vice president stepped in and took the reins of the company
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Favre, who was 35 in 2005, started another three seasons before turning the reins over to Rodgers in 2008. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Winners, losers from Day 1 of 2020 NFL draft," 24 Apr. 2020 The Browns were 7-4 with Brian Hoyer that season before turning the reins over to Johnny Manziel and losing the final five games. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Browns expected to interview 49ers’ Mike LaFleur and Mike McDaniel; Baylor’s Matt Rhule declined, reports say," 31 Dec. 2019 Starsky envisions its remote drivers logging onto computers in an office environment to take the reins of its trucks during the first and last miles of their long-haul journeys. Ron Hurtibise,, "Driverless big rigs could be hitting Florida highways next year. Are you ready, good buddy?," 13 June 2019 In 2016, MacAdams stepped down to allow new leaders to take the reins of Friends of the Los Angeles River. Los Angeles Times, "Lewis MacAdams, famed crusader for the Los Angeles River, dies at 75," 21 Apr. 2020 County leaders have called for the state to take the reins of the program. Scott Wartman,, "Who's enforcing DeWine's orders and who's not? The Enquirer investigated," 2 Apr. 2020 Or might a first-round passer be taking reins of roster with ample voltage? 18. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL power rankings: Tom Brady's signing, free agency moves spark big changes," 2 Apr. 2020 Though no public comments have been made by the team, Rivers doubtlessly is joining the Colts to take the reins of a franchise thrust into a storm of quarterback uncertainty when Andrew Luck shockingly announced his retirement in August. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Philip Rivers signing brings Brissett QB1 era to swift end," 17 Mar. 2020 When Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama ends, who will be picked to take the reins of the Crimson Tide football program and follow a coach who has won five national champions in his 13 seasons at the school? Mark Inabinett |, al, "Who does Bradley Bozeman want as Alabama’s next coach?," 16 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The limited response stems in part from efforts to rein in the VA’s medical services, after a series of political battles over whether to privatize elements of the nation’s largest hospital network., "VA Hospitals Are the U.S. Safety Net. Covid-19 Exposed the Holes," 7 May 2020 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for an urgent review of traditional office practices like stamping documents by hand, which are hampering efforts to rein in the coronavirus. Isabel Reynolds / Bloomberg, Time, "Coronavirus Is Forcing Japan to Rethink Its Custom of Stamping Documents by Hand," 28 Apr. 2020 But, the desperation of the world has still created a paradise for con artists and scammers -- despite China's efforts to rein in subpar PPE and tighten export standards. Fox News, "Sen. Kelly Loeffler: China 'playing games' with trade policy, holding up COVID-19 test kits," 19 Apr. 2020 The limited response stems in part from efforts to rein in the VA’s medical services, after a series of political battles over whether to privatize elements of the nation’s largest hospital network. oregonlive, "VA hospitals struggle to support civilian health care system amid coronavirus outbreak," 18 Apr. 2020 The effort to rein in the program will certainly set off alarm bells with school-choice advocates who have replicated Arizona’s program in states across the nation. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Group will ask Arizona voters to ban further expansion of state's school voucher program," 26 Feb. 2020 Under Roberts, the Supreme Court also foiled a decade-long effort to rein in partisan gerrymandering. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "John Roberts: Bemused Spectator of American Democracy," 3 Jan. 2020 In this section, Science’s news staff forecasts other areas of policy and research likely to make news this year amid the chaos, from dark matter detectors to new efforts to rein in loss of species. Science News Staff, Science | AAAS, "The science stories likely to make headlines in 2020," 2 Jan. 2020 In August 2018, Giuliani wrote a letter to Romania’s president and prime minister criticizing the country’s recent efforts to rein in corruption as overly aggressive. NBC News, "Hunter Biden's legal work in Romania raises new questions about his overseas dealings," 24 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rein.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rein


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for rein


Middle English reine, from Anglo-French resne, reine, from Vulgar Latin *retina, from Latin retinēre to restrain — more at retain

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Time Traveler for rein

Time Traveler

The first known use of rein was in the 13th century

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Statistics for rein

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rein.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for rein


How to pronounce rein (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rein

: 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


\ ˈrān How to pronounce rein (audio) \

Kids Definition of rein

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a line or strap that is attached at either end of the bit of a bridle and is used to control an animal usually used in pl.
2 : an influence that slows, limits, or holds back The parents kept their child under a tight rein.
3 : controlling or guiding power the reins of government


reined; reining

Kids Definition of rein (Entry 2 of 2)

: to check, control, or stop by or as if by reins He reined in his horse. Rein in your anger.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rein

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rein

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rein

Spanish Central: Translation of rein

Nglish: Translation of rein for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rein for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rein

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