The Grammar GuideSpelling"reign" vs "rein". What is the difference?

"reign" vs "rein". What is the difference?

"reign" vs "rein". What is the difference?

The words "rein" and "reign" are homophones.

Reign is as a noun that refers to "the period during which a sovereign rules" or a verb that means "to hold royal office; rule as king or queen."

Rein is a noun that refers to "a long, narrow strap attached at one end to a horse’s bit" or a verb that means "to check or guide by pulling on its reins."

Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings. Even though the two words sound the same, they have very different uses and meanings. Let's look at some examples that can you learn how to use each word properly.

Examples of "reign" as a noun

Remember, reign as a noun means "the period during which a sovereign rules."

  • NFC North preview: New faces abound; same old Packers reign? (from NFL)
  • EastEnders spoilers: Steven Beale’s reign of TERROR could go ‘FULL EVIL’, star reveals (from Express)
  • Taylor Swift ends Despacito's 16-week reign at US number one (from NME)

Examples of "reign" as a verb

Remember, reign as a verb means "to hold royal office; rule as king or queen."

  • Fire Crews Dig Lines To Reign In Umpqua North Complex (from Jefferson Public Radio)
  • The sun will reign during Labor Day weekend in Denver (from Denver Post)

Examples of "rein" as a noun

Remember, rein as a noun means "a long, narrow strap attached to a horse's bit, typically used to guide or check a horse while riding."

  • To Turn Faster, Brittni Raflowitz Has Taken One Hand Off The Reins (from The Chronicle of the Horse)
  • The ex-boss of Brown Thomas is taking over the reins at Dublin Airport (from The Journal)

Examples of "rein" as a verb

Remember, rein as a verb means "to check or guide by pulling on its reins."

  • China has ‘most responsibility’ to rein in North Korea, says Turnbull (from The Guardian)
  • FDA’s Gottlieb Wants To Rein In Risk Info In Drug Ads, But Will He Succeed? (from Forbes)
  • Chaos is constant with twin toddlers. How can I rein it in? (from Washington Post)

Test your knowledge in the quiz below.

Dictionary Definition of reignDictionary Definition of rein
Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.