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To seize the property of an individual and retain it until an obligation is performed. The taking of the goods and chattels of a tenant by a landlord in order to satisfy an unpaid debt.
Distrain is a comprehensive term that may be used in reference to any detention of Personal Property, lawful or unlawful.
distrainverb annex, appropriate, assume ownerrhip, attach, bear away, carry away, carry off, compulsorily acquire, confiscate, deprive of, divest, garnish, hominis bona vendere, hurry off with, impound, impress, lay hold of, levy, levy a distress, make away with, possess oneself of, preempt, replevy, seize, sequester, sequestrate, take away, take into custody, take over, take possession of
See also: annex, arrogate, assume, attach, compel, condemn, confiscate, deprive, divest, fine, garnish, impound, levy, mulct, seize, sequester
distrainto seize (personal property) by way of DISTRESS.
TO DISTRAIN. To take an keep any personal chattel in custody, as a distress. (q.v.)