unfettered

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adjective un·fet·tered \ˌən-ˈfe-tərd\

Definition of unfettered

  1. :  free, unrestrained unfettered access

unfettered was our Word of the Day on 06/07/2012. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

A fetter is a chain or shackle for the feet (as on a prisoner), or, more broadly, anything that confines or restrains. The word derives from Middle English "feter" and shares a relationship with Old English fot, meaning "foot." In current English "unfettered" typically suggests that someone or something is figuratively "unchained," or unrestrained in progress or spirit. The poet John Donne is believed to have been the first to use "unfettered" in this way, in his 1601 work The Progress of the Soule: "To an unfetterd soules quick nimble hast / Are falling stars, and hearts thoughts, but slow pac'd."

1601

First Known Use of unfettered

1601


UNFETTERED Defined for English Language Learners

unfettered

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adjective un·fet·tered \ˌən-ˈfe-tərd\

Definition of unfettered for English Language Learners

  • : not controlled or restricted

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