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1 definition found
 for To give the rein to
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Rein \Rein\ (r?n), n. [F. r[^e]ne, fr. (assumed) LL. retina, fr.
     L. retinere to hold back. See Retain.]
     1. The strap of a bridle, fastened to the curb or snaffle on
        each side, by which the rider or driver governs the horse.
        [1913 Webster]
              This knight laid hold upon his reyne. --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Hence, an instrument or means of curbing, restraining, or
        governing; government; restraint. "Let their eyes rove
        without rein." --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
     To give rein, To give the rein to, to give license to; to
        leave withouut restrain.
     To take the reins, to take the guidance or government; to
        assume control.
        [1913 Webster]

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