Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

rein - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     rein pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [usually plural] a long narrow piece of leather fastened to a horse’s head that the rider uses to control the horse
    1. a.
      British a set of bands fastened around a small child that an adult holds so that the child can walk alone but cannot run away
  2. 2


    [plural] control of a company, government, or organization
    the reins of power/government/state:

    It’s his deputy who really holds the reins of power.

    hand/take over the reins (=give someone control of something or take control of it):

    Hiroshi Okuda took over the reins of Toyota in August 1995.

    hold the reins (=be the person who controls something):

    the designers who hold the creative reins at Dior fashion house



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play