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

Iran’s top diplomat, an architect of the landmark nuclear deal, resigned on Monday, hobbling the relatively moderate government of President Hassan Rouhani and its chances of keeping the pact alive. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "Iran’s Foreign Minister Resigns, in an Instagram Post," 25 Feb. 2019 The court has been hobbled by the refusal of the U.S., Russia, China and other major nations to join. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "US relationship with international court crashes under Trump," 10 Sep. 2018 Syria’s military has been so hobbled by deaths and defections that the government has repeatedly been forced to intensify recruitment efforts. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "Syria’s army is on a path to victory after ousting rebels from Damascus," 26 May 2018 Love was done for the playoffs with a severe shoulder injury; Kyrie Irving was hobbled by foot and leg injuries. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Kevin Love: Cavaliers 'have to win' Game 4, and they 'want' to, too," 21 Apr. 2018 Japan's economy has long been hobbled by an aging workforce and dwindling population. Paul Wiseman, chicagotribune.com, "IMF: A major trade rift could imperil solid global economy," 17 Apr. 2018 Melgen, who was convicted separately in a Medicare fraud case in Florida, refused to cooperate with the government, hobbling the bribery case from the start. Joseph Tanfani, latimes.com, "Government won't retry New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez on corruption charges," 31 Jan. 2018 The quarterly performance is the worst since the second quarter of 2014, when growth was also 0.2 percent and hobbled by wide-ranging debt problems across the single currency bloc, notably in Greece. Pan Pylas, The Seattle Times, "Eurozone economy slows to its weakest level in 4 years," 30 Oct. 2018 Thus, the first product shipped is much more expensive than the next million, and innovation is hobbled by need for capital expenditure and is never rapid. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near hobble

hobbil

Hobbism

hobbit

hobble

hobblebush

hobbledehoy

hobble out

Statistics for hobble

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hobble

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

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More Definitions for hobble

hobble

verb

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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More from Merriam-Webster on hobble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hobble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hobble

Spanish Central: Translation of hobble

Nglish: Translation of hobble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hobble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hobble

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