\ 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 The trade-off is clear: Cubans for the most part survive the worst that nature throws their way, but in return they are forced to endure an even tighter rein on their limited freedoms. Ann Louise Bardach, Washington Post, "A glimpse of Cuba, beyond tourist sites and revolutionary heroes," 26 June 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That creates a reason for Lumir to stick around, helping squire her mother through the movie-making process, while trying to rein in her dismissive, imperious attitude toward practically everyone around her. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Catherine Deneuve shines in the mother-daughter tale 'The Truth'," 1 July 2020 British regulators want new rules to foster competition in digital advertising markets and rein in the industry’s dominant players, Google and Facebook. Washington Post, "UK regulator urges reforms to curb Google, Facebook ad power," 1 July 2020 While the bulk of Macy's stores have reopened, and business is recovering gradually, the retailer's sales are not likely to return to year-ago levels anytime soon, pressuring the company to further rein in costs. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Macy’s cutting another 20% of corporate jobs as coronavirus pummels sales," 25 June 2020 Spain’s national state of emergency has ended after three months of restrictions on movement to rein in its COVID-19 outbreak., "WHO reports largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases," 21 June 2020 The pandemic and the social-distancing mandates needed to rein in the spread of the disease led to the cancellation of some of the free movies booked for this summer, including all of those scheduled during May. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where you can find free outdoor movies in the Milwaukee area this summer: 2020 edition," 9 June 2020 The alliance agreed to extend record output cuts for another month on condition that Baghdad doubles down on efforts to rein in production and also makes up for previous non-compliance., "Iraq Gets Serious on Oil Cuts By Asking Buyers to Forgo Cargoes," 8 June 2020 The requirement will be laid out in a forthcoming executive order that represent her latest attempt to rein in the coronavirus outbreak in Oregon that has sickened thousands. oregonlive, "Gov. Kate Brown explains her mask requirement, reopening rationale; health official admits error," 18 June 2020 Other social networks have taken steps to rein in more extreme posts, with Twitter starting to fact-check or flag violations in some tweets and Snapchat opting not to promote the president's account. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Facebook takes down Trump ads featuring symbol identical to one Nazis used for concentration camp prisoners," 18 June 2020

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

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rein.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 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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