July 02, 2013
rein (verb)
\RAYN\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to check, control, or stop by or as if by reins
How do you use it?
Though he was furious, Jon reined in his anger and asked the question politely.
Are you a word wiz?

Tell us which of the answers below correctly uses today's buzzword to complete this sentence: "Faced with a deficit in the budget, the legislature was forced to..."

The verb "rein" comes from the noun "rein," which refers to either of two straps attached to a piece of metal in a horse's mouth that are pulled on to steer and guide the horse. When you "rein in" a horse, you pull back on the reins to control it. This gave rise to the figurative sense that you see correctly used in Answer C. Answer A requires the verb "rain"—to "rain on someone's parade" is to ruin his or her plans. Answer B requires the verb "reign," meaning "to rule or govern." And though Answer D uses "rein" correctly as a noun, today we are featuring the verb."
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