distrain
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /dɪˈstɹeɪn/
Verb

distrain (distrains, present participle distraining; past and past participle distrained)

  1. (obsolete) To squeeze, press, embrace; to constrain, oppress.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book VII:
      But when he heard her answeres loth, he knew / Some secret sorrow did her heart distraine {{...}
    • 1600, Edward Fairfax, The Jerusalem Delivered of Torquato Tasso, XII, xii:
      Thus spake the Prince, and gently 'gan distrain / Now him, now her, between his friendly arms.
  2. (legal, transitive, obsolete) To force (someone) to do something by seizing their property.
    to distrain a person by his goods and chattels
  3. (legal, intransitive) To seize somebody's property in place of, or to force, payment of a debt.
  4. (obsolete) To pull off, tear apart.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book II, canto XII:
      For that same net so cunningly was wound, / That neither guile, nor force might it distraine.
Synonyms
  • (to seize somebody's property in place of, or to force payment of a debt) distress
Translations


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