un·​fet·​ter ˌən-ˈfe-tər How to pronounce unfetter (audio)
unfettered; unfettering; unfetters

transitive verb

: to free from fetters
unfetter a prisoner
: emancipate, liberate
unfetter the mind from prejudice

Examples of unfetter in a Sentence

authorities eventually unfettered the menagerie of wild animals that had been kept illegally as pets
Recent Examples on the Web As spring ends, maple trees begin to unfetter winged seeds that flutter and swirl from branches to land gently on the ground. Nikk Ogasa, Scientific American, 22 Sep. 2021 His long run in office, however, delivered only partial victories on his two primary ambitions: to unfetter Japan’s military after decades of postwar pacifism and to jump-start and overhaul its economy through a program known as Abenomics. New York Times, 8 July 2022 The Safdies are pointedly effective in capturing the way in which a chaotic city’s overall rhythm goes on unfettered even as a character experiences a horrific disruption or glitch in one small part of it. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2019 By manufacturing satellite components in space, Made In Space hopes to unfetter some of those launch constraints. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 2 Aug. 2019 By manufacturing satellite components in space, the company hopes to unfetter some of those launch constraints. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 29 July 2019 Unfettered by worries about his relationship, Caldwell thrived. Jason Blevins, The Denver Post, 18 May 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unfetter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unfetter was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near unfetter

Cite this Entry

“Unfetter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfetter. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​fet·​ter ˌən-ˈfet-ər How to pronounce unfetter (audio)
: to free from fetters
unfetter the prisoner
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