Law The act or process of distraining; distress. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "distraint" in a sentence
"To weigh the alternatives in this balance alone is the work of a moment: and there are all the more moments left for the life of princely expenditure, of inexhaustible revenue, without tax or toil, overdraft, usury or distraint, which is lived in the secret kingdom behind the eyelids."
"Advocates of this stance often quote a 1960 Supreme Court opinion, which states that "our system of taxation is based upon voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.""
"Hedges, fences, all are down, beasts exposed to wind and weather, fields and meadows lying fallow, every month a new distraint —"