Give Full Rein To


Often, reins. a leather strap, fastened to each end of the bit of a bridle, by which the rider or driver controls a horse or other animal by pulling so as to exert pressure on the bit. See illus. under harness.
any of certain other straps or thongs forming part of a harness, as a checkrein.
any means of curbing, controlling, or directing; check; restraint.
reins, the controlling or directing power: the reins of government.
verb (used with object)
to check or guide (a horse or other animal) by exerting pressure on a bridle bit by means of the reins.
to curb; restrain; control.
verb (used without object)
to obey the reins: a horse that reins well.
to rein a horse or other animal.
draw rein, to curtail one's speed or progress; halt: The rider saw the snake and drew rein sharply.
give rein to, to give complete freedom to; indulge freely: to give rein to one's imagination. Also, give free rein to, give full rein to.

1300–50; (noun) Middle English rene, reine, raine < Old French re(s)ne < Vulgar Latin *retina, noun derivative of Latin retinēre to hold back, retain; (v.) Middle English rainen, reinen, derivative of the noun

reinless, adjective
unreined, adjective

rain, reign, rein.

6. check, bridle, limit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rein (reɪn)
1.  (often plural) one of a pair of long straps, usually connected together and made of leather, used to control a horse, running from the side of the bit or the headstall to the hand of the rider, driver, or trainer
2.  a similar device used to control a very young child
3.  any form or means of control: to take up the reins of government
4.  the direction in which a rider turns (in phrases such as on a left (orright) rein, change the rein)
5.  something that restrains, controls, or guides
6.  give free rein, give a free rein to allow considerable freedom; remove restraints
7.  keep a tight rein on to control carefully; limit: we have to keep a tight rein on expenditure
8.  on a long rein with the reins held loosely so that the horse is relatively unconstrained
9.  shorten the reins to take up the reins so that the distance between hand and bit is lessened, in order that the horse may be more collected
10.  (tr) to check, restrain, hold back, or halt with or as if with reins
11.  to control or guide (a horse) with a rein or reins: they reined left

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "strap fastened to a bridle," from O.Fr. rene, probably from V.L. *retina "a bond, check," back-formation from L. retinere "hold back" (see retain). The verb is c.1300, from the noun. Figurative extension "put a check on" first recorded 1588.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

reins (rānz)
The kidneys, loins, or lower back.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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