shackle

noun
shack·​le | \ ˈsha-kəl How to pronounce shackle (audio) \

Definition of shackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

shackle

verb
shackled; shackling\ ˈsha-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce shackle (audio) \

Definition of shackle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to bind with shackles : fetter
b : to make fast with or as if with a shackle
2 : to deprive of freedom especially of action by means of restrictions or handicaps : impede

Other Words from shackle

Verb

shackler \ ˈsha-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce shackle (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for shackle

Verb

hamper, trammel, clog, fetter, shackle, manacle mean to hinder or impede in moving, progressing, or acting. hamper may imply the effect of any impeding or restraining influence. hampered the investigation by refusing to cooperate trammel suggests entangling by or confining within a net. rules that trammel the artist's creativity clog usually implies a slowing by something extraneous or encumbering. a court system clogged by frivolous suits fetter suggests a restraining so severe that freedom to move or progress is almost lost. a nation fettered by an antiquated class system shackle and manacle are stronger than fetter and suggest total loss of freedom. a mind shackled by stubborn prejudice a people manacled by tyranny

Examples of shackle in a Sentence

Noun placed shackles on the legs of the prisoners the shackles of illiteracy can be just as confining as leg irons Verb The guard shackled the prisoner. unwilling to shackle the dogs to the wall of the house
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This hunk of billet aluminum solves both problems by providing a closed shackle mount that’s designed to fit snug with the winch’s fairlead. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 12 Nov. 2020 The 60-year-old had been attempting to repair the Row of Life’s bow shackle in preparation for a tropical cyclone that was bearing down on her position in the remote Pacific. Andrew Lewis, Outside Online, 14 Jan. 2022 This shackle may suggest prisoners or enslaved people at the site. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 12 Jan. 2022 Weinstein, 69, was ushered into the courtroom with a waist shackle that attached to his handcuffs. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 7 Dec. 2021 At her feet lay a broken shackle and chains to symbolize the end of slavery. Reece Jones, CNN, 27 Oct. 2021 The front leaf spring rear-lower shackle bolts may be loose. Detroit Free Press, 21 Aug. 2021 If anti-vax folks mistake a key for a shackle, that’s only because their selfishness is part of the problem. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 30 July 2021 When the crew tried to raise it, the shackle connecting it to the cable failed, Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 28 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The parents used chains and padlocks to shackle some of the children to beds. Stella Chan And Ray Sanchez, CNN, 13 July 2022 Houdini said that no prison could hold him and that no shackles can shackle him. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 No prison can hold me; no hand or leg irons or steel locks can shackle me. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Unlike the investment of time that’s required for most TV shows these days, which shackle you to a dozen or more episodes that are essentially standalone movies themselves, at least in terms of length. Andy Meek, BGR, 30 Nov. 2021 Unlike the investment of time that’s required for most TV shows these days, which shackle you to a dozen or more episodes that are essentially standalone movies themselves, at least in terms of length. Andy Meek, BGR, 30 Nov. 2021 Unlike the investment of time that’s required for most TV shows these days, which shackle you to a dozen or more episodes that are essentially standalone movies themselves, at least in terms of length. Andy Meek, BGR, 30 Nov. 2021 Unlike the investment of time that’s required for most TV shows these days, which shackle you to a dozen or more episodes that are essentially standalone movies themselves, at least in terms of length. Andy Meek, BGR, 30 Nov. 2021 Unlike the investment of time that’s required for most TV shows these days, which shackle you to a dozen or more episodes that are essentially standalone movies themselves, at least in terms of length. Andy Meek, BGR, 30 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of shackle

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shackle

Noun

Middle English schakel, from Old English sceacul; akin to Old Norse skǫkull pole of a cart

Learn More About shackle

Time Traveler for shackle

Time Traveler

The first known use of shackle was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near shackle

shackel

shackle

shackle bar

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for shackle

Last Updated

21 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shackle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shackle. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for shackle

shackle

noun
shack·​le | \ ˈsha-kəl How to pronounce shackle (audio) \

Kids Definition of shackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a ring or band that prevents free use of the legs or arms
2 : something that prevents free action The country was freed from the shackles of oppression.

shackle

verb
shackled; shackling

Kids Definition of shackle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to bind or fasten with a ring or band placed on the legs or arms
2 : to prevent free action

More from Merriam-Webster on shackle

Nglish: Translation of shackle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shackle for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!