Dis*train" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Distrained (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Distraining.] [OE. destreinen to force, OF. destreindre to press, oppress, force, fr. L. distringere, districtum, to draw asunder, hinder, molest, LL., to punish severely; di- = stringere to draw tight, press together. See Strain, and cf. Distress, District, Distraint.]


To press heavily upon; to bear down upon with violence; hence, to constrain or compel; to bind; to distress, torment, or afflict.

[Obs.] "Distrained with chains."



To rend; to tear.


Neither guile nor force might it [a net] distrain. Spenser.

3. Law (a)

To seize, as a pledge or indemnification; to take possession of as security for nonpayment of rent, the reparation of an injury done, etc.; to take by distress; as, to distrain goods for rent, or of an amercement

. (b)

To subject to distress; to coerce; as, to distrain a person by his goods and chattels.


© Webster 1913.

Dis*train", v. i.

To levy a distress.

Upon whom I can distrain for debt. Camden.


© Webster 1913.

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