Definition of bridle in English:

bridle

noun

  • 1The headgear used to control a horse, consisting of buckled straps to which a bit and reins are attached:

    ‘grooms came at once to take the bridles’
    • ‘Lila nodded and offered them two horses' bridles.’
    • ‘He rides her home and ties her up in the stable (or takes the horse for shoeing) before removing the bridle.’
    • ‘With halters underneath the bridles and their lunches safely tucked into their backpacks they set out.’
    • ‘I unhooked Glory from the crossties and took his halter off, before placing his bridle on and adjusting the straps.’
    • ‘The man reaching for the bridle saw Kemp and dropped the bridle of his horse like it was a hot poker.’
    • ‘He smiled at me as he fitted the bridle onto the horse's head.’
    • ‘I closed my fist around his bridle and stared the horse in the eye.’
    • ‘She buckled the girth quickly and retrieved her bridle.’
    • ‘Flags flew on each wagon and there were ribbons on the horses' bridles.’
    • ‘Marcia dismounted and grabbed the bridles of both horses, patting them on the neck to calm them.’
    • ‘The bewhiskered older man held the bridle of the buggy horse until Sam was settled in his seat.’
    • ‘It was a miniature of Tam's horse, very detailed, with a bridle, saddle, and individual hairs in its mane and tale.’
    • ‘Jack reappeared at her side carrying two bare-back riding pads and two bridles.’
    • ‘Each horse had two saddles and bridles each, one set for English and one for western.’
    • ‘She held the horses by their bridles, but as soon as the others neared, she dropped the reins and rushed to the girl.’
    • ‘His female companion went out to the horse, taking its bridle and led it toward the back of the house.’
    • ‘Struggling a bit, Adam threw the bridle and reins over Midnight's head.’
    • ‘She jerked the strap of the bridle to emphasize the word ‘die’.’
    • ‘The king ordered eight horses with gold-plaited bridles led into the hall.’
    • ‘Theo slipped the bridle onto the horse, and leaned over, picking the book up.’
    1. 1.1 A line, rope, or device that is used to restrain or control the action or movement of something.
      • ‘Also shown was a variant in which the brass fence guides were replaced by wooden arms secured by a bridle.’
      • ‘The dream of every cattle farmer in Namibia: to get that coloured rosette on the bull's bridle.’
    2. 1.2Nautical A mooring cable.
      • ‘My first mate retrieved our towing bridle from a locker while Jeff flaked out our anchor line.’
      • ‘They rigged a towing bridle and re-established the tow with the tug.’
      • ‘A deck hand was killed when a tow bridle unexpectedly became taut and pinned her against a tugboat railing.’
      rope, cord, line, guy, piece of cordage
      View synonyms

verb

  • 1[with object] Put a bridle on (a horse):

    ‘five horses, saddled and bridled, were tied by the reins to branches of trees’
    • ‘Katy suddenly forgot she was now supposed to be bridling her horse.’
    • ‘There, she found her horse, bridled him, and jumped to his back, not even bothering about a saddle.’
    • ‘Then I placed on my helmet and bridled him quickly.’
    • ‘I quickly put on the saddle and placed my helmet on before bridling.’
    • ‘After letting the others go, Faye held the one remaining horse's head while her companion bridled him.’
    • ‘Soon after, a saddled and bridled chestnut horse came striding into view.’
    • ‘She bridled Lady and led both horses out into the rain.’
    • ‘They learn to saddle and bridle the horse, to brush and feed them, and to clean the stall.’
    • ‘She found Jare after a little bit of hunting and led him back to camp where she bridled him, and mounted.’
    • ‘He spent days and nights with one catch-horse always bridled, ready to ride down strays.’
    • ‘As if of some amazing coincidence, a large white gelding broke from the ruins, still saddled and bridled.’
    • ‘I'm the only one who can saddle or bridle him without trouble.’
    • ‘He saddled and bridled Ebony, untied the halter, and led his horse carefully through the trees.’
    • ‘In the back, behind the inn, their horses were waiting, already saddled and bridled.’
    • ‘In the yard a tangle of horses were being bridled and arranged in rough rows.’
    • ‘Maxim had already saddled and bridled both their horses and was waiting patiently.’
    • ‘It was my bay mare, saddled and bridled, and tied by a neck rope to a young tree.’
    • ‘Saddling and bridling a horse would be a subject of its own and I will certainly follow up.’
    • ‘Occasionally, she would bite at me because she didn't like to be bridled.’
    • ‘Her tack was resting on a bale of hay in front of the stall, and soon the mare was saddled and bridled.’
    1. 1.1 Bring (something) under control; curb:
      ‘the fact that he was their servant bridled his tongue’
      • ‘Now, will you allow yourself to be saddled and bridled?’
      • ‘But he hoped that they would be bridled: ‘We can control them,’ he said.’
      • ‘Phyllis was motivated by vindictiveness; others bridled and saddled men for profit.’
      • ‘Some-one please bridle this infamous brute, before it is too late!’
      • ‘These symbols of solidarity circumscribe the Amish world and bridle the forces of assimilation.’
      curb, restrain, hold back, bite back, control, keep control of, keep in check, check, keep a tight rein on, rein back, rein in
      View synonyms
  • 2[no object] Show one's resentment or anger, especially by throwing up one's head and drawing in one's chin:

    ‘she bridled at his tone’
    • ‘Naturally, they bridle at suggestions that their pursuit of a European identity is mimicry.’
    • ‘It's as if the job now strikes them as a habit, and I think their fans are bridling at that.’
    • ‘She had an overpowering urge to cry which she bridled.’
    • ‘The exclusivity of the club means that non-members bridle when they are lectured by the rich and powerful.’
    • ‘Anna bridled at the implication that she couldn't look after herself.’
    • ‘I criticized him on a lot of things, and he took it in stride, but he always bridled if I called him a politician.’
    • ‘Voters also bridle against voting for Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term.’
    • ‘In his time, Mark Twain bridled over French claims of superiority.’
    • ‘Biographers may bridle at the damage to the reputations of their pet subjects.’
    • ‘How she had bridled at his unsavory opinion of her.’
    • ‘Almost alone among them, Morrissey bridled at the credit he got.’
    • ‘Taiwan banks, too, bridle against restrictions that bar them from opening offices on the mainland.’
    • ‘‘I was totally confused by it,’ she says, bridling at the memory.’
    • ‘At first she seems to bridle at that, but not for long.’
    • ‘The investment bankers behind the deals bridle at being portrayed as fast-buck artists.’
    • ‘Étienne gets into the cab and immediately bridles at the cabby's rude manner.’
    • ‘Although she bridles at the stridency of the language, it's all or nothing for this group.’
    • ‘Mexico's tequila makers bridled at its touting of Tequiza's tequila base, claiming it was misleading.’
    • ‘Today's students bridle against the academic left's assault on America and American institutions, he argues.’
    • ‘In Norfolk, Virginia, he bridles when a white man calls him ‘boy’.’
    bristle, be indignant, become indignant, take offence, take umbrage, be affronted, be offended, get angry, draw oneself up, feel one's hackles rise
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • off (or on) the bridle

Origin

Old English brīdel (noun), brīdlian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch breidel (noun). bridle use is from the action of a horse when reined in.

Pronunciation:

bridle

/ˈbrʌɪd(ə)l/