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in the reign of Queen Dick
dated At no point ever. (Used to show skepticism over an absurd or unbelievable story.) John: "And after a half-hour struggle, I managed to haul in a fish that weighed over 30 pounds!" Charlie: "Sure, John. That happened in the reign of Queen Dick."
reign of terror
A period of oppression by a hostile ruler. Sometimes used hyperbolically. The people could only tolerate the dictator's reign of terror for so long before they started a revolution. Is mom finished with her reign of terror, or do we have to keep cleaning the house every weekend?
reign over (someone or something)
1. To control someone or something with absolute authority or power. The dictator has reigned over the country with an iron fist since his military coup in 1987. It's been 30 years since the monarchy reigned over us, and some parts of the population wish we could go back to that time.
2. To be a very influential or widespread force over someone or something. Terror has been reigning over our citizens ever since the war began.
To be the best or most influential thing in a particular area or era. France's fashion houses still reign supreme today. Disco music reigned supreme in the 1970s.
See also: reign
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.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give free rein to someoneand give someone free rein
Fig. to allow someone to be completely in charge (of something). (Alludes to loosening the reins of a horse and therefore control.) The boss gave the manager free rein with the new project. The principal gave free rein to Mrs. Brown in her classes.
reign over someone or something
to rule over someone or something. The king reigned over his subjects for over thirty years. The queen reigned over the country for along time.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
give free rein to
see under free hand.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a reign of terror
COMMON A reign of terror is a period during which there is a lot of violence and killing, especially by people who are in positions of power. The dictator's 17-year reign of terror had ended and the people took to the streets to celebrate their freedom. His victims during a four-month reign of terror included a schoolgirl and a student. Note: The original Reign of Terror was during the French Revolution between April 1793 and July 1794, when many thousands were put to death by the government.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
1. To have authority or control over someone or something; rule over someone or something: The same family has reigned over this island for ten generations.
2. To be prevalent or predominant in some place or situation: Chaos reigned over the city during the power outage.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.