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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb shackle contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of shackle are clog, fetter, hamper, manacle, and trammel. While all these words mean "to hinder or impede in moving, progressing, or acting," 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 is it sensible to use clog instead of shackle?

Although the words clog and shackle have much in common, clog usually implies a slowing by something extraneous or encumbering.

a court system clogged by frivolous suits

When is fetter a more appropriate choice than shackle?

The meanings of fetter and shackle largely overlap; however, 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 hamper be a better fit than shackle?

While in some cases nearly identical to shackle, hamper may imply the effect of any impeding or restraining influence.

hampered the investigation by refusing to cooperate

When would trammel be a good substitute for shackle?

While the synonyms trammel and shackle are close in meaning, trammel suggests entangling by or confining within a net.

rules that trammel the artist's creativity

Thesaurus Entries Near shackle

Cite this Entry

“Shackle.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on shackle

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