distrain-v; 1 Senses

Sense Number 1: confiscate by distress, legally take something in place of a debt

Commentary: Syntax includes: NP1[agent] DISTRAIN NP2[theme] NP1[agent] DISTRAIN PP{upon NP[theme]}

They distrained all the best cattle belonging to these innocent sufferers.
They distrained some sheep and he refused to buy them back.
He distrains the defaultor's cattle.
If he distrains he is limited to the rent which has accrued.
This is sometimes called levying distress or distraining upon goods.
Only the goods of the person assessed to pay rates can be distrained upon.

VerbNet: np
FrameNet: cp
PropBank: distrain.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1, 2, 3