- 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 the 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. Idioms
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.
give/allow somebody/something free/full rein, give/allow free/full rein to somethingjump to other results
to control someone or something carefully or strictly It's essential to keep a tight rein on public spending.
to keep a tight rein on somebody/somethingjump to other results