American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A chain or shackle for the ankles or feet.
- n. Something that serves to restrict; a restraint.
- v. To put fetters on; shackle.
- v. To restrict the freedom of. See Synonyms at hamper1.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A chain or bar by which a person or an animal is confined by the foot, so that he is either made fast to an object or deprived of free motion by having one foot attached to the other; a shackle.
- n. Anything that confines or restrains from motion; a restraint; a check.
- n. Synonyms Gyve, Manacle, etc. See shackle, n.
- To put fetters upon; shackle or confine, as with fetters; hence, to bind; confine; restrain.
- n. A chain or similar object used to bind a person or animal - often by its legs (usually in plural).
- n. Anything that restricts or restrains in any way.
- v. transitive To shackle or bind up with fetters
- v. transitive To restrain or impede; to hamper.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A chain or shackle for the feet; a chain by which an animal is confined by the foot, either made fast or disabled from free and rapid motion; a bond; a shackle.
- n. Anything that confines or restrains; a restraint.
- v. To put fetters upon; to shackle or confine the feet of with a chain; to bind.
- v. To restrain from motion; to impose restraints on; to confine; to enchain.
- v. restrain with fetters
- n. a shackle for the ankles or feet
- Old English feter. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English feter, from Old English; see ped- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“They are as stanch and resolved in their hatred of the domestic institution as when we abolished the accursed slave traffic; as when, at a vast sacrifice, both of money and of colonial prosperity, we struck the last fetter from the last English slave; as when the women of England, half a million strong, sent out a generous if not a wise remonstrance to the women of America.”
“Thursday (called in French Jeudi gras and in German fetter Donnerstag”
“It never will save a man from sin; never break a fetter, or dash away a wine-cup.”
“Wise people do not call that a strong fetter which is made of iron, wood, or hemp; far stronger is the care for precious stones and rings, for sons and a wife.”
“Shyness hitherto had been no infirmity of this young Canadian; but Bertie somehow had mesmerized her into a state of consciousness -- it was a cobwebby kind of fetter, but the first she had worn.”
“If you propose to become a tyrant over him, ... do your best to poison him with a theory of morals against nature; impose every kind of fetter on him; embarrass his movements with a thousand obstacles; place phantoms around him to frighten him ....”
“Capitalist property, private property in the means of production, the profit system itself, had become a "fetter" on the further development of the productive forces.”
“fetter" on the technological means of production, a fetter that is ready to be burst asunder.”
“For those who perceive the latter, the novel's bleak horror will leave a bruise on the mind, a fetter on the heart.”
“It laid a fetter on our souls, the need for love and yet the difficulty of its expression.”
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