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Related to reins: take the reins
draw in the reins
1. Literally, to pull in the reins of a bridled animal, especially a horse, to slow it down or bring it to a stop. Mary drew in the reins as she approached town, bringing her horse to a saunter.
2. By extension, to slow something down or bring it to a stop. During the economic boom, our company was making as many risky investments as we could find. Luckily, our CEO had the sense to draw in the reins on such recklessness before the economy crashed.
hold the reins
To have or be in control, especially of a group, project, or situation. Though my grandfather was the breadwinner, it was my grandmother who truly held the reins in their house. The boss decided she'd hold the reins on this project after the assistant manager bungled the last one so badly.
pull in the reins
To begin doing something more carefully or cautiously; to regain or tighten control over someone or something. This thesis you're planning is becoming wildly unfocused—I think you should pull in the reins a bit! I wish those parents would pull in the reins on their kids—the little devils are tearing the place apart!
take the rein(s)
To take or assume control (of something). After the CEO announced that she had been diagnosed with dementia, her daughter gradually began taking the reins of the company. I don't know why people are so utterly terrified of letting the federal government take the rein when it comes to things like healthcare.
See also: take
tighten the reins
To begin doing something more carefully or cautiously; to regain or tighten control of someone or something. This thesis you're planning is becoming unfocused. I think you should tighten the reins a bit. I wish those parents would tighten the rein on their kids, the little devils are tearing the place apart!
hand over the reins
To bestow a particular responsibility or job on someone. I have so much work to do now that my boss has retired and handed over the reins to me.
take over the reins
To take or assume control (of something). After the CEO announced that she had been diagnosed with dementia, her daughter gradually began taking over the reins of the company. I don't know why people are so utterly terrified of letting the federal government take over the reins when it comes to things like healthcare.
To tighten control over someone or something; to restrain, slow down, or diminish someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rein" and "in." You need to rein in your journalists. They can't be writing such inflammatory pieces. I'm trying to rein in my enthusiasm a bit, because I don't want to be disappointed.
rein back on (something)
To attempt to restrict something or get something under control. We really need to rein back on how much we're spending on office supplies each month. I've been reining back on eating so much junk food lately.
1. To come to a stop while riding a horse. Why don't we rein up over by that stream so the horses can get a drink? I reined up so I could listen for predators rustling around me.
2. To bring a horse to a stop by pulling back on its reins. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "rein" and "up." She reined her horse up, drew her bow, and fired an arrow straight into the center of the target. The bandits reined up their horses outside the front of the tavern and drew their firearms.
rein someone or something in
to bring someone or something under control; to slow down someone or something. Fred is getting out of hand. The boss undertook to rein him in a bit. The boss is trying to rein in Jane's enthusiasm.
rein something up
to bring something, usually a horse, to a stop. She reined her horse up and stopped for a chat. Rein up your horse and stop for a while.
[for a horse rider] to stop. The equestrian reined up and dismounted. We all reined up and waited for the cars to pass by.
draw in the reins
Come to a halt, back down. For example, During a recession, many businesses are forced to draw in the reins on expansion. This expression transfers the means of stopping a horse to other kinds of restraint.
1. To restrain or control something or someone: The coalition tried to rein in its more militant members. I reined my anger in and refused to fight.
2. To make a horse move more slowly or stop by pulling back on reins: Rein in your horse while this truck goes by. The horses wanted to break free, but the rancher reined them in.
draw in the reins
1. To slow down or stop a horse or other animal by putting pressure on the reins.
2. To restrain or control.