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 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, "House prices boom despite the pandemic," 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, "It’s Time to Build a Better Political Culture," 29 Apr. 2020 Zeitlin’s Wendy, on the other hand, is freed from those shackles. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Wendy Reveals A Dark Truth About The Peter Pan Story," 2 Mar. 2020 The defense team also asked the judge to prevent their client from appearing in shackles and jail clothing. Dallas News, "El Paso shooting suspect’s team pleads not guilty as he makes first federal court appearance," 12 Feb. 2020 The shackles came off by the time the baby came through. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit mom, activist forced to give birth in shackles cuts deal to go free," 31 Jan. 2020 Trying to control information in that case becomes a kind of shackle in the face of something that can progress and change swiftly beyond one’s control. Echo Huang, Quartz, "China’s battle with the Wuhan coronavirus is shackled by a toxic relationship with information," 23 Jan. 2020 A week after child welfare officials confirmed two teenagers in its care were handcuffed and placed in leg shackles while being driven, the agency is changing its policy to prohibit the use of such restraints on foster children. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "Foster children in Illinois were being driven in handcuffs and leg shackles. After complaints, DCFS is banning the practice.," 13 Nov. 2019 The shackle is made of a 7mm reinforced stainless-steel. Billy Cadden, Popular Science, "Best smart gear for your home," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These invitations do not shackle you to attendance, however. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Best friends invite each other to momentous events - it doesn’t mean they have to attend," 12 Feb. 2021 These invitations do not shackle you to attendance, however. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Matron of honor declines serving at summer wedding," 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, "The Bicycle as a Vehicle of Protest," 10 June 2020 Davis said she was shackled to a bench for more than three hours. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Charges dismissed, signature gatherers now want to sue Cincinnati State for arrest," 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, "Guantanamo Bay interrogator accuses Obama CIA chief John Brennan of throwing him 'under the bus'," 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, "Prosecutor reviewing Russia probe known for tenacity, ethics," 1 Nov. 2019 The black people were shackled to the cognitive maps of their well-meaning masters. Frank B. Wilderson Iii, Harper's Magazine, "Color Theory," 30 Mar. 2020 More: Michigan lawmakers: Don't shackle pregnant prisoners and snap away their newborns The department suspended visits at all 30 Michigan prisons last week, in an effort to keep the virus outside of prison walls. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "2 Michigan corrections employees test positive for COVID-19," 17 Mar. 2020

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

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shackle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shackle. Accessed 15 May. 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

Comments on shackle

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