bridle

When you're riding a horse and scream "Whoa!" to make it stop, you're pulling on the reins, which are attached to a thing called the bridle, the buckled straps around a horse's head that help you control its movements.

The word bridle comes from the Old English bridel meaning "rein, curb, restraint," which is precisely what the purpose of a bridle is — to help restrain a horse's movements when necessary. You can bridle a horse, which is the act of putting a bridle on it. If you yank too hard on the reins, your horse might bridle, or take offense to your aggressiveness, just like you might bridle if someone insulted you.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: bridle

1
nv
headgear for a horse; includes a headstall and bit and reins to give the rider or driver control
put a bridle on
2
v
anger or take offense
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: bridle
1

n headgear for a horse; includes a headstall and bit and reins to give the rider or driver control

Type of:
headgear
stable gear consisting of any part of a harness that fits about the horse's head

n the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess

“his common sense is a bridle to his quick temper”
Synonyms:
check, curb
Type of:
restraint
the act of controlling by restraining someone or something

v put a bridle on

bridle horses”
Antonyms:
unbridle
remove the bridle from (a horse or mule)
Types:
snaffle
fit or restrain with a snaffle
Type of:
constrain, cumber, encumber, restrain
hold back

v respond to the reins, as of horses

Type of:
answer, reply, respond
react verbally
2

v anger or take offense

“She bridled at his suggestion to elope”
Type of:
anger, see red
become angry
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