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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]