From Old French destraindre, from Latin distringere (“to pull asunder, stretch out, engage, hinder, molest, Medieval Latin also compel, coerce as by exacting a pledge by a fine or by imprisonment”), from dis- (“apart”) + stringere (“to draw tight, strain”).
- (obsolete) To squeeze, press, embrace; to constrain, oppress.
- (law, transitive, obsolete) To force (someone) to do something by seizing his property.
- (law, intransitive) To seize somebody's property in place of, or to force, payment of a debt.
to distrain a person by his goods and chattels
- (obsolete) To pull off, tear apart.