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

Released on $250,000 bond, Stone emerged in the Florida sunshine in a polo shirt, jeans, and shackles. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Trump’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," 27 Jan. 2019 Identity politics and its enforcement have placed shackles on our ability to coexist as Americans. WSJ, "Progressive Groupthink Is a Threat to Liberty," 17 Dec. 2018 Why did Chewie freak out at Luke’s plan on the Death Star to pretend Chewie was a prisoner with unlocked shackles? Dan Gvozden, The Hollywood Reporter, "74 'Star Wars' Questions 'Solo' Insisted on Answering," 1 June 2018 Men, women, a toddler and a baby are chained with shackles that were replicated from real chains found at the Cape Coast Slave Castle. Erica Ayisi, The Root, "Lynching Memorial: Ghanaian Artist Hopes Sculpture Captures Shared Pain Between African Americans and the Motherland," 7 May 2018 Bonnet—who is last seen reaching for the keys that will unlock his shackles. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 12 Recap: 5 Biggest Takeaways," 21 Jan. 2019 In a skit where a kid is shackled in a dungeon, he's warned not to mess with his shackles. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "14 Outrageous Facts About Nickelodeon Slime," 10 Dec. 2018 No longer an Edge case Edge will break free of its Windows 10 shackles as part of the move. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Microsoft Edge embraces open-source Chromium code, plans move to Windows 7, 8, and Macs," 6 Dec. 2018 One Trump Administration achievement has been liberating U.S. energy producers of all kinds from federal shackles. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Rick Perry’s Obama Imitation," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her arms and legs were shackled and she was dressed in a blue one-piece uniform worn by inmates who are a suicide threat. Fox News, "Mom accused of drowning daughter had been cleared of abuse," 3 Aug. 2018 And in the 1980s, advocates sued to stop the state from shackling and hogtying children there. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A painful reunion at school of horror," 11 July 2018 Officers freed two children who were shackled to beds and arrested the parents in a case that drew worldwide attention to abuse and neglect case at the Perris, California, home that looked neatly kept from the outside. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "In 911 call after escape, Turpin sibling describes horrific abuse, being "chained up"," 20 June 2018 The two reporters, Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, have now spent more than 100 days behind bars, shackled in a notorious prison emblematic of oppression during Myanmar’s military junta era. Laignee Barron, Time, "Amal Clooney Will Represent Two Reuters Journalists Jailed in Myanmar," 30 Mar. 2018 He was dressed in orange coveralls and had his arms shackled at this waist with chains and padlocks. David Owens, courant.com, "Ex-Death Row Inmate Lazale Ashby Resentenced To Life Without Possibility Of Release," 21 June 2018 The bedside lamps were shackled to the walls—a naughty touch. Audrey Phoon, Condé Nast Traveler, "25 Best Hotels in Singapore," 28 Feb. 2018 In a skit where a kid is shackled in a dungeon, he's warned not to mess with his shackles. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "14 Outrageous Facts About Nickelodeon Slime," 10 Dec. 2018 Insomniac is clearly shackled to the overarching Spider-Man universe, which, at least, gives the team wiggle room to paint both good and bad guys in shades of gray. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Spider-Man PS4 review: Does whatever a spider can—and then some," 4 Sep. 2018

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

6 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shackle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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