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 shackling (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 shackler (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 Handcuffs and shackles are for adult criminals from whom the public needs to be protected. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "2 teens were handcuffed, shackled during drive from a youth shelter: ‘Totally unacceptable,’ DCFS says," 7 Nov. 2019 Why wouldn't a buccaneering, free-trading Britain want to escape the shackles of the European Union and sell goods to its free-spending, closest ally? Luke Mcgee, CNN, "The UK will never get the US trade deal it wants," 6 Nov. 2019 It had been turned into a prison for several hundred men, and a few women, most of whom had arrived in handcuffs and shackles. Adam Hochschild, The New Yorker, "When America Tried to Deport Its Radicals," 4 Nov. 2019 Sadly, while the case for an electoral college is clear, the path to breaking the shackles of the popular vote is not. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Case Against the Popular Vote," 20 Sep. 2019 Officers put him in handcuffs and leg shackles, and Black quickly began showing signs of medical distress. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Family feels relief after Maryland revokes certification from police officer involved in Anton Black’s death," 6 Aug. 2019 Although Serie A has become a much more revered and exciting league over recent years, having freed itself from the shackles of the 'Calciopoli' scandal, one minor issue is still to be addressed. SI.com, "Napoli: Gli Azzurri Could Finally End Juventus' Domestic Dominance Next Season," 30 July 2019 After catching Hodge, officers handcuffed him and placed him in leg shackles, according to his attorney, Ivan Bates. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore police handle marijuana suspects differently under consent decree, recent court ruling," 10 Sep. 2019 There are big shifts to be made: reconsidering the ideology of workism, breaking the shackles of meritocracy, and teaching ourselves to find satisfaction in things other than what we are paid to do. Azamat Omuraliev, Quartz, "We should start working less now to mentally prepare ourselves for automation," 27 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Washington, who was 21 when he was moved to Albany by city correction officials, said he was handcuffed and shackled inside a small cell after being accused of attacking a guard on Rikers. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "New York City Reaches $980,000 Settlement With Young Detainees Who Were Beaten, Forced Into Solitary Confinement," 21 Oct. 2019 Orwell thought of the poor as decent people, but he’d be baffled to observe today that the welfare state has created a class of layabouts who, liberated from economic anguish, shackle themselves to screens, drugs, alcohol. Kyle Smith, National Review, "What Would Orwell Think of Us?," 11 June 2019 Amid a storm of penalties and turnovers, and shackled by an undermanned offensive line, the Browns got popped in the mouth by the Titans. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Mike Zimmer and the Vikings May Deserve More Hype This Season Than Last," 12 Sep. 2019 He was shackled and wearing an anti-suicide vest for his initial court appearance Monday. Jay Croft And Cheri Mossburg, CNN, "Ex-USC gynecologist pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges," 1 July 2019 My great-great-grandfather Silas Burgess came to America shackled in the belly of a slave ship. Burgess Owens, WSJ, "I Didn’t Earn Slavery Reparations, and I Don’t Want Them," 24 May 2019 The immigration officers shackled her and took her away, leaving her daughter behind. oregonlive.com, "‘America is Better Than This,’ Jeff Merkley insists in Donald Trump critique. Not so fast, senator," 15 Aug. 2019 Handcuffs were removed during the hearing but their ankles remained shackled together. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, "New 'zero tolerance' policy on border creates overflow court hearings in South Texas," 6 June 2018 Just by himself, Curry could make a huge difference, draining 3-pointers to shackle any opponent’s dreams. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Disgraced USA Basketball needs revival at the Olympics," 12 Sep. 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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Statistics for shackle

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for shackle

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

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More Definitions for shackle

shackle

noun
How to pronounce shackle (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on shackle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shackle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shackle

Spanish Central: Translation of shackle

Nglish: Translation of shackle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shackle for Arabic Speakers

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