What does distrain mean?

Definitions for distrain

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word distrain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distrainverb

    levy a distress on

  2. distrainverb

    confiscate by distress

  3. distrainverb

    legally take something in place of a debt payment


  1. distrainverb

    To squeeze, press; to constrain, oppress.

  2. distrainverb

    To force (someone) to do something by seizing their property.

  3. distrainverb

    To seize somebody's property in place of, or to force, payment of a debt.

  4. distrainverb

    To pull off, tear apart.

  5. Etymology: From destraindre, from distringere, from dis- + stringere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DISTRAINverb

    To seize; to lay hold on as an indemnification for a debt.

    Etymology: from distringo, Latin.

    Here’s Beauford, that regards not God nor king,
    Hath here distrain’d the Tower to his use. William Shakespeare, Hen. VI.

  2. To Distrainverb

    To make seizure.

    The earl answered, I will not lend money to my superiour, upon whom I cannot distrain for the debt. William Camden, Remains.

    Blood his rent to have regain’d,
    Upon the British diadem distrain’d. Andrew Marvell.


  1. distrain

    Distraint or distress is "the seizure of someone’s property in order to obtain payment of rent or other money owed", especially in common law countries. Distraint is the act or process "whereby a person (the distrainor), traditionally even without prior court approval, seizes the personal property of another located upon the distrainor's land in satisfaction of a claim, as a pledge for performance of a duty, or in reparation of an injury." Distraint typically involves the seizure of goods (chattels) belonging to the tenant by the landlord to sell the goods for the payment of the rent. In the past, distress was often carried out without court approval. Today, some kind of court action is usually required, the main exception being certain tax authorities – such as HM Revenue and Customs in the United Kingdom and the Internal Revenue Service in the United States – and other agencies that retain the legal power to levy assets (by either seizure or distraint) without a court order.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Distrainverb

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

  2. Distrainverb

    to rend; to tear

  3. Distrainverb

    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

  4. Distrainverb

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

  5. Distrainverb

    to levy a distress

  6. Etymology: [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.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Distrain

    dis-trān′, v.t. to seize, esp. goods for debt, esp. for non-payment of rent or rates.—v.i. to seize the goods of a debtor.—adj. Distrain′able.—ns. Distrain′ment; Distrain′or, Distrain′er; Distraint′, seizure of goods. [O. Fr. destraindre—L. dis, asunder, stringĕre, to draw tight.]

Matched Categories

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of distrain in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of distrain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Translations for distrain

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"distrain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/distrain>.

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    a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
    • A. aberrate
    • B. descant
    • C. abet
    • D. huff

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