hobble

verb
hob·​ble | \ ˈhä-bəl How to pronounce hobble (audio) \
hobbled; hobbling\ ˈhä-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce hobble (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 hobble (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 Republicans say the bill would amount to a federal takeover of elections that would hobble election security and contribute to voter fraud. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Parties battle over 'Jim Crow' label ahead of Senate hearing on new Georgia voting law," 19 Apr. 2021 Disney+, which just surpassed the 100 million user milestone, has helped keep the company afloat during a terrible year that caused the pandemic to hobble Disney's multiple businesses from parks to production. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "Marvel's 'Black Widow' will debut on Disney+ and theaters at the same time," 23 Mar. 2021 Any loss in funding also could further hobble public schools’ ability to help children who have lost ground as districts struggle to reopen or soldier on in hybrid or distance-learning scenarios. Jeff Amy, chicagotribune.com, "School voucher advocates hope frustration with remote learning during pandemic bolsters their cause," 24 Feb. 2021 Any loss in funding also could further hobble public schools’ ability to help children who have lost ground as districts struggle to reopen or soldier on in hybrid or distance-learning scenarios. Jeff Amy, The Christian Science Monitor, "Public school parents consider pandemic leap to private schools," 24 Feb. 2021 The Trump administration took several steps to hobble Huawei, including an effort to cut off its supply of critical semiconductors — policies that the Biden administration hasn’t committed itself to retaining. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "Inside a Pro-Huawei Influence Campaign," 29 Jan. 2021 Though Florida’s real-estate market remains strong, spiraling insurance premiums could hobble it, real-estate agents say. WSJ, "Insurance Costs Threaten Florida Real-Estate Boom," 25 Apr. 2021 Additional jobless benefits, however, will hobble hiring in such sectors as restaurants. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Could extra unemployment until September harm the economic recovery?," 23 Apr. 2021 For example, cutting off Huawei’s supply of U.S.-made semiconductors, as the Trump Administration did in May 2020 by modifying the Foreign Direct Product Rule, was intended to hobble the company in the short term. Annie Brown, Forbes, "The Unintended Impact Of “Blacklisting” On The Future Of Domestic AI Development," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another potential reason not to use the hobble was that the officers had called for paramedics. Steve Karnowski, Star Tribune, "EXPLAINER: Decision on 'hobble' is at issue in Chauvin trial," 6 Apr. 2021 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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hobble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobble. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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 hobble (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

Comments on hobble

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