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3 definitions found
 for Distrain
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Distrain \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.]
     1. 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."
        --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. To rend; to tear. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Neither guile nor force might it [a net] distrain.
                                                    --Spenser.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
            [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Distrain \Dis*train"\, v. i.
     To levy a distress.
     [1913 Webster]
  
           Upon whom I can distrain for debt.       --Camden.
     [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  distrain
      v 1: levy a distress on
      2: confiscate by distress
      3: legally take something in place of a debt payment

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