One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The seizure of someone's property in order to obtain payment of money owed, especially rent.‘many faced heavy fines and the distraint of goods’
seizure, impounding, commandeering, requisition, requisitioning, appropriation, expropriation, sequestration, taking away, annexationView synonyms
- ‘And the same process of distraint, warning, and forfeiture is to be repeated until he comes.’
- ‘For all the foregoing reasons, therefore, I conclude that the distraint upon the plaintiff's goods was contrary to law.’
- ‘After the premises were abandoned, distraint was impossible.’
- ‘Because there was no valid distraint, Canada Trustco's security was not displaced.’
- ‘First, that the goods were not Mr Newman's and so not open to distraint.’
Mid 18th century: from distrain, on the pattern of constraint.
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