Pronunciation: (rān),[key] —n. 1. 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. 2. any of certain other straps or thongs forming part of a harness, as a checkrein.
3. any means of curbing, controlling, or directing; check; restraint.
4. reins,the controlling or directing power: the reins of government. 5. draw rein, to curtail one's speed or progress; halt: The rider saw the snake and drew rein sharply. 6. 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.
—v.t. 1. to check or guide (a horse or other animal) by exerting pressure on a bridle bit by means of the reins.
2. to curb; restrain; control.
—v.i. 1. to obey the reins: a horse that reins well. 2. to rein a horse or other animal.