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."
2. To rend; to tear. [Obs.]
Neither guile nor force might it [a net] distrain.
(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
(b) To subject to distress; to coerce; as, to distrain a
person by his goods and chattels.