1

shackle

play
noun shack·le \ˈsha-kəl\

Definition of shackle

  1. 1 :  something (such as a manacle or fetter) that confines the legs or arms

  2. 2 :  something that checks or prevents free action as if by fetters —usually used in plural

  3. 3 :  a usually U-shaped fastening device secured by a bolt or pin through holes in the end of the two arms

  4. 4 :  a length of cable or anchor chain of usually 15 fathoms

Examples of shackle in a Sentence

  1. placed shackles on the legs of the prisoners

  2. the shackles of illiteracy can be just as confining as leg irons

Recent Examples of shackle from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of shackle

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


2

shackle

verb shack·le

Definition of shackle

shackled

;

shackling

play \-k(ə-)liŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to bind with shackles :  fetterb :  to make fast with or as if with a shackle

  3. 2 :  to deprive of freedom especially of action by means of restrictions or handicaps :  impede

shackler

play \-k(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of shackle in a Sentence

  1. The guard shackled the prisoner.

  2. unwilling to shackle the dogs to the wall of the house

First Known Use of shackle

15th century

Synonym Discussion of shackle

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

SHACKLE Defined for English Language Learners

shackle

play
noun

Definition of shackle for English Language Learners

  • : one of two rings or bands that are placed around a person's wrists or ankles and that are connected by a chain

  • shackles : something that prevents people from acting freely

shackle

verb

Definition of shackle for English Language Learners

  • : to put shackles on (someone or something)


SHACKLE Defined for Kids

1

shackle

play
noun shack·le \ˈsha-kəl\

Definition of shackle for Students

  1. 1 :  a ring or band that prevents free use of the legs or arms

  2. 2 :  something that prevents free action The country was freed from the shackles of oppression.


2

shackle

play
verb shack·le

Definition of shackle for Students

shackled

;

shackling

  1. 1 :  to bind or fasten with a ring or band placed on the legs or arms

  2. 2 :  to prevent free action



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