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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But then, while looking through Zep’s pocket’s to find a key to his shackle, Adam finds another tape recorder. Emily Palmer Heller, Vulture, 14 May 2021 Immigration authorities placed a shackle on her right foot that will allow the agency to track her until her court hearing, scheduled for May 15. Javier Arce, The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2021 The assault charge stems from an accusation that Hurtado kneed a Border Patrol agent in the head as a shackle was being placed around his ankle, according to the complaint. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2021 Policymakers should tackle the market’s long-term problems: that means getting rid of tax breaks for homeowners and regulations that shackle supply. The Economist, 9 Apr. 2021 Yet even with shackles in place, government here and elsewhere remains a lifeline for society’s most vulnerable people and a blessing for us all. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 29 Apr. 2020 Zeitlin’s Wendy, on the other hand, is freed from those shackles. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, 2 Mar. 2020 The defense team also asked the judge to prevent their client from appearing in shackles and jail clothing. Dallas News, 12 Feb. 2020 The shackles came off by the time the baby came through. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 31 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As open-source software, the data lakes could be customized and wouldn’t shackle the enterprise to one vendor, a fear leftover from negative experiences with single-vendor legacy environments. Chetan Mathur, Forbes, 18 June 2021 Because the white prisoners were a threat to run, the guards would shackle them to each other. Winfred Rembert, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 These invitations do not shackle you to attendance, however. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 12 Feb. 2021 These invitations do not shackle you to attendance, however. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 12 Feb. 2021 In an ecologically imperiled, rapidly urbanizing, traffic-shackled twenty-first century, the zero-emissions two-wheeler has reëmerged as a darling of urbanists, policymakers, and commuters. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 10 June 2020 Davis said she was shackled to a bench for more than three hours. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, 25 Feb. 2020 His death was not deliberate, but resulted from his incarceration in a cold environment while nude from the waist down, and shackled in a position that prevented him from moving around to keep warm. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, 30 Jan. 2020 Durham specifically looked for potential crimes in the deaths of two detainees, including one who was shackled to a cold concrete wall in a secret CIA prison. Dave Collins, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Nov. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for shackle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for shackle

Last Updated

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shackle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shackle. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for shackle

shackle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one of two rings or bands that are placed around a person's wrists or ankles and that are connected by a chain
: something that prevents people from acting freely

shackle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shackle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put shackles on (someone or something)

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

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