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[brahyd-l] /ˈbraɪd l/
part of the tack or harness of a horse, consisting usually of a headstall, bit, and reins.
anything that restrains or curbs:
His common sense is a bridle to his quick temper.
Machinery. a link, flange, or other attachment for limiting the movement of any part of a machine.
Nautical. a rope or chain secured at both ends to an object to be held, lifted, or towed, and itself held or lifted by a rope or chain secured at its center.
a raising up of the head, as in disdain.
verb (used with object), bridled, bridling.
to put a bridle on.
to control or hold back; restrain; curb.
verb (used without object), bridled, bridling.
to draw up the head and draw in the chin, as in disdain or resentment.
Origin of bridle
before 900; Middle English bridel, Old English brīdel for brigdels, equivalent to brigd- (variant stem of bregdan to braid1) + -els noun suffix; akin to Dutch breidel, Old High German brittel
Related forms
bridleless, adjective
bridler, noun
Can be confused
bridal, bridle.
2. governor. 2, 7. check. 7. govern, constrain, inhibit, restrict, limit. 8. bristle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bridled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Traveller, saddled and bridled, was waiting and the commander-in-chief sprang into the saddle with all the agility of a young man.

    The Shades of the Wilderness Joseph A. Altsheler
  • He bit the end of his penholder instead, and bridled his tongue and temper.

    Waring's Peril Charles King
  • Huldah bridled angrily, but there was no time for a reply, for the woman answered her own question, and hurried on wildly.

    Across the Years Eleanor H. Porter
  • They found that all the horses in the stable were saddled and bridled for use.

  • No matter how slow the march of freedom, he would have bridled his wrath.

    Lincoln, the Politician T. Aaron Levy
  • The horse was saddled and bridled, but there was no one in the saddle.

    Wood Rangers Mayne Reid
  • Toby bridled his impatience a while, but at last sprang to his feet and dashed forward again.

    Typee Herman Melville
  • Every individual taste, every natural appetite, was bridled by caution.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
British Dictionary definitions for bridled


a headgear for a horse, etc, consisting of a series of buckled straps and a metal mouthpiece (bit) by which the animal is controlled through the reins
something that curbs or restrains; check
a Y-shaped cable, rope, or chain, used for holding, towing, etc
(machinery) a device by which the motion of a component is limited, often in the form of a linkage or flange
(transitive) to put a bridle on (a horse, mule, etc)
(intransitive) (of a horse) to respond correctly to the pull of the reins
(transitive) to restrain; curb: he bridled his rage
(intransitive) often foll by at. to show anger, scorn, or indignation
Derived Forms
bridler, noun
Word Origin
Old English brigdels; related to bregdan to braid1, Old High German brittil, Middle Low German breidel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bridled



Old English bridel "bridle, rein, curb, restraint," related to bregdan "move quickly," from Proto-Germanic *bregdilaz (see braid (v.)).


"to control, dominate," c.1200, from Old English bridlian "to fit with a bridle," from bridel (see bridle (n.)). Meaning "to throw up the head" (as a horse does when reined in) is from mid-15c. Related: Bridled; bridling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bridled in the Bible

Three Hebrew words are thus rendered in the Authorized Version. (1.) Heb. _mahsom'_ signifies a muzzle or halter or bridle, by which the rider governs his horse (Ps.39:1). (2.) _Me'theg_, rendered also "bit" in Ps. 32:9, which is its proper meaning. Found in 2 Kings 19:28, where the restraints of God's providence are metaphorically styled his "bridle" and "hook." God's placing a "bridle in the jaws of the people" (Isa. 30:28; 37:29) signifies his preventing the Assyrians from carrying out their purpose against Jerusalem. (3.) Another word, _re'sen_, was employed to represent a halter or bridle-rein, as used Ps. 32:9; Isa. 30:28. In Job 30:11 the restraints of law and humanity are called a bridle.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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