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  Dictionary Definition of rein

rein
noun
1. a long, narrow strap or thong, fastened to the bridle or bit, by which a rider or driver restrains and guides a horse or other animal.
2. any of certain other straps or thongs forming part of a harness, as a bearing rein.
3. any means of curbing, controlling, or directing; a check; restraint.
4. complete licence; free scope: to give free rein to one's imagination.
5. ( plural ) the controlling influence and power.
-- verb (t)
6. to furnish with a rein or reins, as a horse.
7. to curb; restrain; control.
-- verb (i)
8. to obey the reins: a horse that reins well.
-- phrase
9. give free rein, to give complete licence or free scope.
10. rein back, (of a horse) a step backwards.
11. rein in ; rein back, a. to check or guide (a horse, etc.) by pulling at the reins. b. to restrain a horse or pull it up.
[ME rene, from OF, var. of resne (AF redne ), from L retinere hold back]