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v. dis·trained, dis·train·ing, dis·trains Law
1. To seize and hold (property) to compel payment or reparation, as of debts.
2. To seize the property of (a person) in order to compel payment of debts; distress.
To levy a distress.
[Middle English distreinen, from Old French destreindre, destreign-, from Medieval Latin distringere, distrinct-, from Latin, to hinder : dis-, apart; see dis- + stringere, to draw tight; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]
dis·trai′nor, dis·train′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.