\ 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 Its shares have gained 584% since Jacobs took the reins. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "XPO Logistics exploring potential breakup of transportation giant," 15 Jan. 2020 David Calhoun officially takes the reins at the embattled plane maker. Michelle Krupa, CNN, "Start your Monday smart: China trade, 2020 Dems, NCAA football, Oscar noms, NFL," 12 Jan. 2020 Those two together took the reins on a night Antetokounmpo was unusually human, guiding the Bucks through rough stretches and efficiently seeing them through to the other side on the way to a 127-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 127, Kings 106: Middleton, Bledsoe lead the way," 10 Jan. 2020 Phillips said Thursday that the recent decision of Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley to take the coaching reins at Boston College played a role in his switch to Utah. Dan Albano, Orange County Register, "La Habra’s Clark Phillips III pulls a recruiting surprise, signs with Utah instead of Ohio State," 19 Dec. 2019 Howard Thomas, who was part of the Hillcrest program in the past, returned to take over the coaching reins from Mike Bibby, who mutually parted with Hillcrest after the Hoophall losses. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Hillcrest Prep captures 2 national basketball championships in a week," 31 Dec. 2019 With policy on hold, attention centered on Lagarde, who took the reins from predecessor Mario Draghi in November after serving as head of the International Monetary Fund. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "ECB chief Christine Lagarde: I want to be the wise 'owl' of monetary policy," 12 Dec. 2019 Fewell took the reins from Ron Rivera, who was fired on Tuesday. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Cam Newton tabbed for Hall of Fame for Blinn season," 5 Dec. 2019 Euro zone finance minsters are pushing back against the negative rate regime of the European Central Bank just as Christine Lagarde takes the reins from Mario Draghi. Marcus Ashworth | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "The ECB Makes Its Move Against Negative Rates," 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The move is aimed at reining in drug prices and making more transparent the decisions that cause prices to spike or dip. Dana Ferguson, Twin Cities, "New year, new laws; what changes in Minnesota on Jan. 1," 31 Dec. 2019 For the Democrats, there was a sense of mission, of reining in an outlaw president who threatened the pillars of the republic. Peter Baker, New York Times, "A President Impeached, and a Nation Convulsed," 18 Dec. 2019 Other players in digital advertising could adopt Facebook's argument, Patience reports, causing complications for California's attorney general tasked with reining in violations by the $130 billion U.S. digital-ad industry. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Businesses should be watching out for deepfakes too, experts warn," 13 Dec. 2019 UA Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek, who has been vocal about reining in exorbitant buyout packages, got language in Pittman’s contract that makes progress in that regard. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, "New UA coach Pittman to make $3M annually as part of 5-year deal," 9 Dec. 2019 What better way to ring in holiday cheer than by reining in some good laughs? Erin Cavoto, Country Living, "25 Funny Reindeer Jokes That Will Totally Sleigh Your Friends and Family," 2 Dec. 2019 President Donald Trump has railed against the Paris Agreement on climate change, which virtually every country in the world (the U.S. included) signed in 2014 to commit to reining in carbon emissions. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "‘The World Is Moving Forward:’ Global Energy Trends Are Defying Trump’s Climate Agenda," 14 Nov. 2019 These state reforms focused on reining in the worst abuses of noncompete agreements. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Senators propose near-total ban on worker noncompete agreements," 17 Oct. 2019 Now the task for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is reining in the ethnic violence that followed the loosening of repressive controls, and resisting any urge to crack down. Author: Elias Meseret, Cara Anna, Anchorage Daily News, "Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel peace prize," 11 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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rein.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 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

Comments on rein

What made you want to look up rein? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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