Thesaurus

fetter

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of fetter

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 something that limits one's freedom of action or choice
  • a time-honored tradition is fine as long as it doesn't become a fetter that prevents us from trying something new

Synonyms for fetter

Words Related to fetter

Near Antonyms for fetter

2 something that makes movement or progress difficult
  • claims that government regulations are unnecessary fetters that keep him from achieving his business goals

Synonyms for fetter

Words Related to fetter

Near Antonyms for fetter

3 something that physically prevents free movement
  • considered a seat belt a pointless fetter—until one saved his life in an auto accident

Synonyms for fetter

Words Related to fetter

fetter

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of fetter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to confine or restrain with or as if with chains
  • museum artifacts that serve as somber reminders of the days when slaves were fettered with irons

Synonyms for fetter

Words Related to fetter

Near Antonyms for fetter

Antonyms for fetter

2 to create difficulty for the work or activity of
  • the belief that too many rules and restrictions fetter children's creativity

Synonyms for fetter

Words Related to fetter

Phrases Synonymous with fetter

Near Antonyms for fetter

Antonyms for fetter

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About fetter

How does the verb fetter contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of fetter are clog, hamper, manacle, shackle, and trammel. While all these words mean "to hinder or impede in moving, progressing, or acting," fetter suggests a restraining so severe that freedom to move or progress is almost lost.

a nation fettered by an antiquated class system

When might clog be a better fit than fetter?

While in some cases nearly identical to fetter, clog usually implies a slowing by something extraneous or encumbering.

a court system clogged by frivolous suits

Where would hamper be a reasonable alternative to fetter?

The words hamper and fetter can be used in similar contexts, but hamper may imply the effect of any impeding or restraining influence.

hampered the investigation by refusing to cooperate

How does the word shackle relate to other synonyms for fetter?

Both shackle and manacle are stronger than fetter and suggest total loss of freedom.

a mind shackled by stubborn prejudice

a people manacled by tyranny

When can trammel be used instead of fetter?

The words trammel and fetter are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, trammel suggests entangling by or confining within a net.

rules that trammel the artist's creativity

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fetter

Time Traveler for fetter

Time Traveler

The first known use of fetter was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about fetter

Cite this Entry

“Fetter.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/fetter. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fetter

Dictionary: Definition of fetter

Nglish: Translation of fetter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fetter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fetter

What made you want to look up fetter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!