shackle

noun
shack·le | \ˈsha-kəl \

Definition of shackle 

(Entry 1 of 4)

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 \

Definition of shackle (Entry 2 of 4)

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 \ 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

After their arrest, they were stripped of their clerical garb, according to Theoharis, and spent much of the next 27 hours in handcuffs and leg shackles. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin upbringing inspired Rev. Liz Theoharis' walk with the poor," 22 June 2018 The lawsuit said Latino children were frequently punished by being restrained for hours in chairs, with handcuffs and cloth shackles on their legs. USA TODAY, "Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse," 21 June 2018 The lawsuit said Latino children were frequently punished by being restrained for hours in chairs, with handcuffs and cloth shackles on their legs. CBS News, "Young immigrants detained in Virginia allege they were beaten while cuffed, left nude in cells," 21 June 2018 Or perhaps, as Brusatte and others believe, T. rex used them as shackles to hold struggling prey while the gnashing teeth did the dirty work. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Five Ways Real Science Would Make the New Jurassic World So Much Better," 12 June 2018 Coyle loosened the shackles, brought inspiration and motivation to the dressing room - a real breath of fresh air - and the change was immediate. SI.com, "Big Picture: How Burnley Evolved From Free-Flowing Party Boys Into Rock-Solid European Contenders," 14 Mar. 2018 But Black church is also always about moving forward; restoration, keeping the faith in the face of opposition, shaking off the shackles; working out your soul’s salvation as an individual but also a member of a larger society. refinery29.com, "5 Things I Learned In Black Church," 21 May 2018 The shackles that could have been put on a future president's ability to act in national security instances. Fox News, "The politics of President Trump's travel ban," 27 June 2018 At his hearing Wednesday, Andrews had to be placed in tighter shackles and removed from the courtroom for refusing to sit still and be quiet. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "'Pumped up agitated guy' arrested at LAX after walking onto tarmac," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Instead, women in immigration detention are often denied adequate medical care, even when in dire need of it, are shackled around the stomach while being transported between facilities, and have been physically and psychologically mistreated. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Kavanaugh’s paper trail makes his confirmation harder but ensures he’ll be reliably conservative," 10 July 2018 His status as a juvenile caused a brief delay before his hearing Monday, as his attorney and guards tried to determine whether he should be shackled, as in-custody adult offenders are handled, or unshackled, as the law requires for juveniles. Clifford Ward, chicagotribune.com, "Glendale Heights teen expected to enter plea next week in shooting death authorities said was gang-related," 2 July 2018 Treatment For Pregnant Prisoners Improves A new law prevents any pregnant inmate from being shackled during labor and delivery, or during the postpartum period. Ruth Bruno, courant.com, "Seven New State Laws That Took Effect July 1," 3 July 2018 The Latest on California parents accused of shackling their kids (all times local): 10:15 a.m. Seven adult children of a California couple accused of years of abuse against their kids appeared for a court hearing involving their guardianship. Fox News, "Latest: Adult children of couple accused of abuse in court," 22 June 2018 Some were told to board a different, also unlabeled, bus and were taken to the federal courthouse for criminal prosecutions in McAllen, where they were shackled before a judge and sent to detention facilities or deported. Silvia Foster-frau, San Antonio Express-News, "After crossing the border, vastly different experiences for immigrant families," 21 June 2018 Some were told to board a different, also unlabeled, bus and were taken to the federal courthouse for criminal prosecutions in McAllen, where they were shackled before a judge and sent to detention facilities or deported. Silvia Foster-frau, Houston Chronicle, "After crossing the border, vastly different experiences for immigrant families," 21 June 2018 The scientists then tested the effect of shackling LINE1 in mouse embryonic stem cells. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Don’t call it junk—This ‘jumping’ gene may be why you made it past an embryo," 21 June 2018 On Thursday, one day after Trump signed the order intended to end family separation at the border, Mancia shuffled into a federal courtroom, shackled at the ankles and hands, only to have her case dismissed. NBC News, "Migrant mother separated from son on his sixth birthday bares agony," 22 June 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

5 Oct 2018

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

shackles : 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 \

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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Comments on shackle

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evasion of direct action or statement

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