handcuff

noun
hand·​cuff | \ ˈhan(d)-ˌkəf How to pronounce handcuff (audio) \

Definition of handcuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a metal fastening that can be locked around a wrist and is usually connected by a chain or bar with another such fastening usually used in plural

handcuff

verb
handcuffed; handcuffing; handcuffs

Definition of handcuff (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to apply handcuffs to : manacle
2 : to hold in check : make ineffective or powerless handcuffed by strict regulations

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Synonyms & Antonyms for handcuff

Synonyms: Noun

band, bind, bond, bracelet, chain, cuff(s), fetter, irons, ligature, manacle(s), shackle

Synonyms: Verb

bind, chain, enchain, enfetter, fetter, gyve, manacle, pinion, shackle, trammel

Antonyms: Verb

unbind, unfetter, unshackle

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Examples of handcuff in a Sentence

Noun

the man reluctantly held out his wrists so the policeman could snap on handcuffs

Verb

wanted to take the trip, but was handcuffed by her responsibility to watch her ailing father the fear that the new mandatory, standardized tests will handcuff the state's teachers, who will have to specifically tailor their lesson plans for the test
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After an altercation during which the lawsuit alleged the Mexican teenager bit a staff member during a beating, he was restrained in handcuffs and shackles for 10 days, resulting in bruises and cuts. USA TODAY, "Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse," 21 June 2018 After an altercation during which the lawsuit alleged the Mexican teenager bit a staff member during a beating, he was restrained in handcuffs and shackles for 10 days, resulting in bruises and cuts. CBS News, "Young immigrants detained in Virginia allege they were beaten while cuffed, left nude in cells," 21 June 2018 After an altercation during which the lawsuit alleged the Mexican teenager bit a staff member during a beating, he was restrained in handcuffs and shackles for 10 days, resulting in bruises and cuts. Michael Biesecker, BostonGlobe.com, "Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse," 21 June 2018 After all, who would feel intimidated by someone with a badge, a gun, pepper spray, handcuffs, and the full weight and authority of the law? Michael Harriot, The Root, "Kansas Finally Bans Cops From Forcing Suspects to Have Sex Because ... Yes, a Cop Reportedly Raped Black Women for Years," 15 May 2018 Elsheikh and Kotey spoke to the AP at a Kurdish security building in the town of Kobani, where they were brought, initially in handcuffs and face covers that were removed. Sarah El Deeb And Andrea Rosa, miamiherald, "2 British IS members say hostage beheadings were a ‘mistake’ | Miami Herald," 2 Apr. 2018 Pool reporters and others in the courtroom Tuesday said the changes in the 64-year-old Mr. Ghosn’s appearance were immediately visible as he was brought to the courtroom in handcuffs. Peter Landers, WSJ, "After 50 Long Days in Jail, Ghosn Is Sharp as He Prepares His Defense," 8 Jan. 2019 When pulled over, police found a crowbar, face mask, rope, and handcuffs in his car. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Ted Bundy: Looking Back at the Killing Spree That Landed Him on Death Row," 25 Jan. 2019 While other people were handcuffed in the precinct, no one else was in pink handcuffs. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Transgender Woman Says NYPD Falsely Accused Her of Misrepresenting Herself," 22 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Staff handcuffed him and placed him in a temporary holding cell, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Child molester beaten to death in California prison days after he arrived," 12 July 2018 The teen, who appeared to be handcuffed, was sitting on the grass lawn of a home in the neighborhood. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "A Teen Was Arrested for Running From the Cops After Using a Ouija Board in a Cemetery," 13 Aug. 2018 Weldon jumped out of the car and refused to be handcuffed, despite being punched several times by one officer, and tased by two other officers, according to a police report. Evan Allen, BostonGlobe.com, "In Springfield, search for answers goes on," 2 June 2018 After flying in from Spain, Riu walked into a Miami-Dade courtroom on Monday to be handcuffed and processed. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "He owns a worldwide resort chain. On Monday, he checked into a Miami jail," 12 Feb. 2018 When the officer arrived, the girl allowed herself to be handcuffed, according to La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez, but then the girl still refused to leave the campus. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Video of Hero Cop Body-Slamming Unarmed, Handcuffed Teenage Girl Somehow Angers People," 22 Jan. 2018 At the end of the day, bailiffs handcuffed him and took him back to jail. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "Witness recounts stabbing death at S.A. murder trial," 11 July 2018 The suspect, who has not been identified, exits the vehicle and is handcuffed as more police cruisers arrive. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Mississippi officer fired after dashcam footage appears to show him using stun gun on handcuffed man," 2 Oct. 2018 In the video, Saucedo is dragged by officers before being handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol vehicle with another boy. NBC News, "El Paso, Texas officer under review after pulling gun on group of children," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handcuff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of handcuff

Noun

1649, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for handcuff

Last Updated

3 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handcuff

The first known use of handcuff was in 1649

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More Definitions for handcuff

handcuff

verb

English Language Learners Definition of handcuff

: to put handcuffs on (someone)

handcuff

noun
hand·​cuff | \ ˈhand-ˌkəf How to pronounce handcuff (audio) \

Kids Definition of handcuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a metal ring that can be locked around a person's wrist usually used in pl.

handcuff

verb
handcuffed; handcuffing

Kids Definition of handcuff (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put handcuffs on

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More from Merriam-Webster on handcuff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handcuff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handcuff

Spanish Central: Translation of handcuff

Nglish: Translation of handcuff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handcuff for Arabic Speakers

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