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1

fetter

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noun fet·ter \ˈfe-tər\

Definition of fetter

  1. 1 :  a chain or shackle for the feet

  2. 2 :  something that confines :  restraint



Examples of fetter in a sentence

  1. <a time-honored tradition is fine as long as it doesn't become a fetter that prevents us from trying something new>

  2. <claims that government regulations are unnecessary fetters that keep him from achieving his business goals>



Did You Know?

While now used as a more general term for something that confines or restrains, "fetter" was originally applied specifically to a chain or shackle for the feet. Not surprisingly, the word's Old English ancestor, "feter," is etymologically shackled to "fōt," the Old English ancestor of "foot." Both words have a long history in the English language, dating back to the early 9th century, and are chained to Sanskrit "pad," Latin ped- and pes, Greek pod- and "pous," Gothic "fotus," Norse "fōtr," and Old High German fuoz.

Origin and Etymology of fetter

Middle English feter, from Old English; akin to Old English fōt foot


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

fetter

verb fet·ter

Simple Definition of fetter

  • : to prevent (someone or something) from moving or acting freely

  • : to put chains around someone's feet to prevent motion

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of fetter

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to put fetters on :  shackle

  3. 2 :  to restrain from motion, action, or progress

Examples of fetter in a sentence

  1. He found himself fettered by responsibilities.

  2. <museum artifacts that serve as somber reminders of the days when slaves were fettered with irons>



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of fetter

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of fetter

hamper, trammel, clog, fetter, shackle, manacle mean to hinder or impede in moving, progressing, or acting. hamper may imply the effect of any impeding or restraining influence <hampered the investigation by refusing to cooperate>. trammel suggests entangling by or confining within a net <rules that trammel the artist's creativity>. clog usually implies a slowing by something extraneous or encumbering <a court system clogged by frivolous suits>. fetter suggests a restraining so severe that freedom to move or progress is almost lost <a nation fettered by an antiquated class system>. shackle and manacle are stronger than fetter and suggest total loss of freedom <a mind shackled by stubborn prejudice> <a people manacled by tyranny>.

FETTER Defined for Kids

1

fetter

play
noun fet·ter \ˈfe-tər\

Definition of fetter for Students

  1. 1 :  a chain for the feet

  2. 2 :  something that holds back :  restraint




2

fetter

play
verb fet·ter

Definition of fetter for Students

fettered

fettering

  1. 1 :  to chain the feet of

  2. 2 :  to keep from moving or acting freely <He was fettered by many responsibilities.>





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