• Rein


    • IPA: /reɪn/
    • Rhymes: -eɪn
    • Homophones: rain, reign

    Origin 1

    Anglo-Norman reyne, from Old French resne (Modern French rêne), from Vulgar Latin *retina, from Classical Latin retineō ("to retain"), from re- + teneō.

    Full definition of rein



    (plural reins)
    1. A strap or rope attached to the bridle or bit, used to control a horse, animal or young child.
    2. (figurative) An instrument or means of curbing, restraining, or governing.
      • MiltonLet their eyes rove without rein.


    1. To direct or stop a horse by using reins.
      • ChapmanHe mounts and reins his horse.
    2. To restrain; to control; to check.
      • ShakespeareBeing once chafed, he cannot
        Be reined again to temperance.

    Derived terms

    Origin 2

    From Anglo-Norman reines, Middle French reins, and their source, Latin rēnēs.



    (plural reins)
    1. (now rare, archaic, chiefly in plural) A kidney.
      • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.12:a man subject to these like imaginations ... hath often the stone imaginarily, before he have it in his reines ....
      • 1611, King James Bible, :He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.
    2. The inward impulses; the affections and passions, formerly supposed to be located in the area of the kidneys.
      • Bible, Proverbs xxiii. 16My reins rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
      • Bible, Revelations ii. 23I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts.


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