noun shack·le \ˈsha-kəl\

: one of two rings or bands that are placed around a person's wrists or ankles and that are connected by a chain

shackles : something that prevents people from acting freely

Full Definition of SHACKLE

:  something (as a manacle or fetter) that confines the legs or arms
:  something that checks or prevents free action as if by fetters —usually used in plural
:  a usually U-shaped fastening device secured by a bolt or pin through holes in the end of the two arms
:  a length of cable or anchor chain of usually 15 fathoms

Examples of SHACKLE

  1. <placed shackles on the legs of the prisoners>
  2. <the shackles of illiteracy can be just as confining as leg irons>

Origin of SHACKLE

Middle English schakel, from Old English sceacul; akin to Old Norse skǫkull pole of a cart
First Known Use: before 12th century


transitive verb

: to put shackles on (someone or something)

shack·ledshack·ling \-k(ə-)liŋ\

Full Definition of SHACKLE

a :  to bind with shackles :  fetter
b :  to make fast with or as if with a shackle
:  to deprive of freedom especially of action by means of restrictions or handicaps :  impede
shack·ler \-k(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of SHACKLE

  1. The guard shackled the prisoner.
  2. <unwilling to shackle the dogs to the wall of the house>

First Known Use of SHACKLE

15th century

Rhymes with SHACKLE


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