American English

Definition of rein noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1[countable, usually plural] a long, narrow, leather band that is attached to a bit (= a metal bar in a horse's mouth) and is held by the rider in order to control the horse She pulled gently on the reins.
  2. 2the reins [plural] the state of being in control or the leader of something It was time to hand over the reins of power (= to give control to someone else). The vice president was forced to take up the reins of office.
  3. Idioms
    give/allow somebody/something free/full rein, give/allow free/full rein to something
    jump to other results
    to give someone complete freedom of action; to allow a feeling to be expressed freely The designer was given free rein. The script allows full rein to her larger-than-life acting style. When I paint I just give my imagination free rein.
    to keep a tight rein on somebody/something
    jump to other results
    to control someone or something carefully or strictly It's essential to keep a tight rein on public spending.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: rein