hobble

verb
hob·​ble | \ ˈhä-bəl How to pronounce hobble (audio) \
hobbled; hobbling\ ˈhä-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce hobbling (audio) \

Definition of hobble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move along unsteadily or with difficulty especially : to limp along

transitive verb

1 : to cause to limp : make lame : cripple
2 [probably alteration of hopple to hobble]
a : to fasten together the legs of (an animal, such as a horse) to prevent straying : fetter
b : to place under handicap : hamper, impede

hobble

noun

Definition of hobble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a hobbling movement
2 archaic : an awkward situation
3 : something used to hobble an animal

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Other Words from hobble

Verb

hobbler \ ˈhä-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce hobbler (audio) \ noun

Examples of hobble in a Sentence

Verb She picked up her cane and hobbled across the room. She is sometimes hobbled by self-doubt. He has been hobbled by a knee injury.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sorkin reached for those ideals while grounding the series in a hefty dose of real-world concerns, with a level of political savvy that underscored how the White House could hobble even the best and most noble of intentions. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The West Wing's' idealism looks even better 20 years after its first Emmy," 11 Sep. 2020 An eventual ruling can be appealed to the EU’s top court, which could hobble and delay the investigations. Aoife White, Bloomberg.com, "Facebook Says EU Data Demands Included Risks to Staff’s Families," 31 Aug. 2020 The coronavirus continues to restrict international travel, limit mass gatherings and hobble the global economy. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, "Olympic countdown resets for Tokyo and hopeful athletes," 4 Aug. 2020 When Waymo sued Uber more than three years ago, both sides pounded the courtroom podium with urgent arguments about how Levandowski might propel or hobble their position in the nascent driverless car market. Joel Rosenblatt, Fortune, "Ex-Uber exec gets 18-month prison term for trade theft from Google," 4 Aug. 2020 Democrats say Trump, running behind Democrat Joe Biden in polls, is trying to hobble the Postal Service before an election expected to feature widespread voting by mail. Todd Shields, Bloomberg.com, "Mnuchin Politicized Post Office for Trump, Ex-Official Says," 21 Aug. 2020 There is still some debate over whether the service changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump mega-donor, are deliberate electoral sabotage or merely part of a long-running conservative project to hobble and then privatize the USPS. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Honestly, Just Vote In Person—It’s Safer Than You Think," 17 Aug. 2020 Simple geography, rather than Chuck Schumer’s shortcomings as a vote-canvasser, is what’s likeliest to hobble most major climate change legislation. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Joe Biden’s Great Reclamation Project," 17 Aug. 2020 But France still plans to reopen schools nationwide in two weeks, and the labor minister says the government is determined to avoid a new nationwide lockdown that would further hobble the economy and threaten jobs. BostonGlobe.com, "South Korea warns of another COVID-19 outbreak tied to a church," 16 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The woman was placed in a soft restraint hobble, which controls a person’s ankles and can be connected to a waist chain or belt. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Aurora police officer left restrained woman on floor of patrol car for 21 minutes despite pleas she couldn’t breathe," 17 July 2020 Aurora police policy states that using a hobble on someone increases the risk for medical complications, including positional asphyxia. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Aurora police officer left restrained woman on floor of patrol car for 21 minutes despite pleas she couldn’t breathe," 17 July 2020 The officers then connected the hobble to the girl’s handcuffs, forcing her into a sitting position, according to the lawsuit. Shelly Bradbury, The Denver Post, "Lawsuit alleges Broomfield police mistreated disabled girl during arrest after fight," 10 Dec. 2019 The good news is that nothing was fractured, though, so Austin is currently exploring downtown Nanjing at a steady hobble, sans crutches or boot. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Out of the Darkness: Isaiah Austin Searches for Peace Without the NBA," 14 June 2019 At last, Isaac had broken into a run on his aching legs, and reached the hotel in an exhausted hobble. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hobble.' 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 hobble

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1726, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hobble

Verb

Middle English hoblen; akin to Middle Dutch hobbelen to turn, roll

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Time Traveler for hobble

Time Traveler

The first known use of hobble was in the 14th century

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Statistics for hobble

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hobble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobble. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for hobble

hobble

verb
How to pronounce hobble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hobble

: to walk with difficulty because of injury or weakness
: to slow the movement, progress, or action of (someone or something)
: to keep (an animal) from straying or wandering by tying two legs together

hobble

verb
hob·​ble | \ ˈhä-bəl How to pronounce hobble (audio) \
hobbled; hobbling

Kids Definition of hobble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to walk slowly and with difficulty

hobble

noun

Kids Definition of hobble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a slow and difficult way of walking

hobble

verb
hob·​ble | \ ˈhäb-əl How to pronounce hobble (audio) \
hobbled; hobbling\ -​(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce hobbling (audio) \

Medical Definition of hobble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move along unsteadily or with difficulty especially : to limp along

transitive verb

1 : to cause to limp : make lame : cripple
2 : to fasten together the legs of (as a horse) to prevent straying

hobble

noun

Medical Definition of hobble (Entry 2 of 2)

: something used to hobble an animal

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Comments on hobble

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