from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A device, usually one of a pair connected to a chain, that encircles the ankle or wrist of a prisoner or captive.
  • noun A hobble for an animal.
  • noun Any of several devices, such as a clevis, used to fasten or couple.
  • noun A restraint or check on action or progress.
  • transitive verb To put shackles on (someone); confine with shackles.
  • transitive verb To fasten or connect with a shackle.
  • transitive verb To restrict, confine, or hamper. synonym: hobble.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To chain; confine with shackles; manacle or fetter; hence, figuratively, to confine or bind so as to prevent or impede free action; clog; embarrass; hamper; impede; trammel.
  • To join or make fast with a shackle.
  • noun Stubble.
  • noun A raffle.
  • noun A bent or curved bar, as of iron, forming a link or staple used independently and not forming part of a continuous chain.
  • noun A form of insulator used for supporting telegraph-wires where the strain is considerable. It is usually of porcelain, with a hole through the center through which a bolt passes. This bolt secures the insulating spool to two iron straps by which it is secured to the pole or other support.
  • noun Hence Figuratively, anything which hinders, restrains, or confines.
  • noun In heraldry, some part of a chain or fetter used as a bearing, usually a single long, narrow link.
  • noun The wrist.
  • noun Synonyms . Shackle, Gyves, Manacle, Fetter, Shackle and gyves are general words, being: applicable to chains for either the arms or the legs, or perhaps any other part of the body, but gyves is now only elevated or poetic. By derivation, manacles are for the hands, and fetters for the feet.
  • In electricity, to place an insulator between the ends of (a wire that has been cut).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Prov. Eng. Stubble.
  • transitive verb To tie or confine the limbs of, so as to prevent free motion; to bind with shackles; to fetter; to chain.
  • transitive verb Figuratively: To bind or confine so as to prevent or embarrass action; to impede; to cumber.
  • transitive verb United States To join by a link or chain, as railroad cars.
  • transitive verb [U.S.] the coupling between a locomotive and its tender.
  • transitive verb a shackle.
  • noun Something which confines the legs or arms so as to prevent their free motion; specifically, a ring or band inclosing the ankle or wrist, and fastened to a similar shackle on the other leg or arm, or to something else, by a chain or a strap; a gyve; a fetter.
  • noun Hence, that which checks or prevents free action.
  • noun A fetterlike band worn as an ornament.
  • noun A link or loop, as in a chain, fitted with a movable bolt, so that the parts can be separated, or the loop removed; a clevis.
  • noun A link for connecting railroad cars; -- called also drawlink, draglink, etc.
  • noun The hinged and curved bar of a padlock, by which it is hung to the staple.
  • noun (Anat.) a joint formed by a bony ring passing through a hole in a bone, as at the bases of spines in some fishes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A restraint fit over a human or animal appendage, such as a wrist, ankle or finger. Usually used in plural, to indicate a pair joined by a chain; a hobble.
  • noun A U-shaped piece of metal secured with a pin or bolt across the opening, or a hinged metal loop secured with a quick-release locking pin mechanism.
  • noun figuratively, usually in plural A restraint on one's action, activity, or progress.
  • verb To restrain using shackles; to place in shackles.
  • verb By extension, to render immobile or incapable; to inhibit the progress or abilities of someone or something.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a U-shaped bar; the open end can be passed through chain links and closed with a bar
  • verb restrain with fetters
  • noun a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
  • verb bind the arms of


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English schackel, from Old English sceacel, fetter.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Akin to Old Norse skǫkull ("the pole of carriage") ( > Danish skagle ("trace")).


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