Definitions

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

  • n. A shackle used to teach a horse to amble.
  • n. Something that restricts activity, expression, or progress; a restraint.
  • n. A vertically set fishing net of three layers, consisting of a finely meshed net between two nets of coarse mesh.
  • n. An instrument for describing ellipses.
  • n. An instrument for gauging and adjusting parts of a machine; a tram.
  • n. An arrangement of links and a hook in a fireplace for raising and lowering a kettle.
  • transitive v. To enmesh in or as if in a fishing net. See Synonyms at hamper1.
  • transitive v. To hinder the activity or free movement of.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Whatever impedes activity, progress, or freedom, as a net or shackle.
  • n. A fishing net that has large mesh at the edges and smaller mesh in the middle
  • n. A set of rings or other hanging devices, attached to a transverse bar suspended over a fire, used to hang cooking pots etc.
  • n. A net for confining a woman's hair.
  • n. A kind of shackle used for regulating the motions of a horse and making him amble.
  • n. An instrument for drawing ellipses, one part of which consists of a cross with two grooves at right angles to each other, the other being a beam carrying two pins (which slide in those grooves), and also the describing pencil.
  • n. A beam compass
  • v. To entangle, as in a net.
  • v. To confine; to hamper; to shackle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of net for catching birds, fishes, or other prey.
  • n. A net for confining a woman's hair.
  • n. A kind of shackle used for regulating the motions of a horse and making him amble.
  • n. Fig.: Whatever impedes activity, progress, or freedom, as a net or shackle.
  • n. An iron hook of various forms and sizes, used for handing kettles and other vessels over the fire.
  • n.
  • n. An instrument for drawing ellipses, one part of which consists of a cross with two grooves at right angles to each other, the other being a beam carrying two pins (which slide in those grooves), and also the describing pencil.
  • n. A beam compass. See under Beam.
  • transitive v. To entangle, as in a net; to catch.
  • transitive v. To confine; to hamper; to shackle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To catch as in a net; make captive; restrain.
  • To shackle; confine; hamper.
  • To train slavishly; inure to conformity or obedience.
  • n. A net for fishing; a trawl-net or trawl; a drag-net. See trammel-net.
  • n. A net for binding up or confining the hair.
  • n. A shackle; specifically, a kind of shackle used for regulating the motions of a horse, and making him amble.
  • n. Whatever hinders activity, freedom, or progress; an impediment.
  • n. An implement hung in a fireplace to support pots and other culinary vessels.
  • n. An instrument for drawing ellipses, used by joiners and other artificers; an ellipsograph.
  • n. A beam-compass.

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

  • n. a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble
  • v. place limits on (extent or access)
  • v. catch in or as if in a trap
  • n. a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
  • n. an adjustable pothook set in a fireplace
  • n. a fishing net with three layers; the outer two are coarse mesh and the loose inner layer is fine mesh

Etymologies

Middle English tramale, a kind of net, from Old French tramail, from Late Latin trēmaculum : Latin trēs, three; see trei- in Indo-European roots + Latin macula, mesh.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French tramail ("net for catching fishes"), from Late Latin tremaculum. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The most correct method of drawing an ellipse is by means of an instrument termed a trammel, which is shown in Figure 83.

    Mechanical Drawing Self-Taught

  • Do you mean to prohibit the trammel, which is usually a treble and not a double net?

    Essays in Natural History and Agriculture

  • From all which it is, I think, manifest that the men who framed these documents, desirous above all things of cutting themselves and their people loose from every kind of trammel, still felt the necessity of enforcing religion — of making it, to a certain extent, a matter of State duty.

    North America

  • From all which it is, I think, manifest that the men who framed these documents, desirous above all things of cutting themselves and their people loose from every kind of trammel, still felt the necessity of enforcing religion -- of making it, to a certain extent, a matter of State duty.

    North America — Volume 1

  • At moderate speeds in moderate corners, the CC rolls like a capsizing ore ship, and yet the tighter suspension can't seem to rein in the 20-inch wheels' unsprung mass, which on rough roads will trammel and judder frantically.

    A Nissan at CrossPurposes With Competence

  • This would also help to keep our armed forces out of the clutches of the "European Union" as presently constituted which must trammel their independence if it is to completely destroy our sovereignty.

    Tony Blair: The Next Labour Prime Minister?

  • In what seemed to indicate a potential showdown might be coming later at the plenary, with a standoff between LDCs, the African Group, and others, pitted against those seeking to trammel the Kyoto Protocol and ram through the Copenhagen Accord, Solón stated: We are here to send this message.

    Tina Gerhardt: Poor Countries Make Final Appeal: For an Ambitious Agreement in Cancun

  • The trees in the distance trammel the view in a way that is the very antithesis of prairie.

    The prairie reverie.

  • But when it exercises that right, it must do so in a way that doesn't trammel the rights of those concerned.

    Don't Trample the Olympic Ideals in Russia

  • They hate anything that looks like frivolity and pleasure, and that is why they have spent such huge sums, over the last ten years, trying to trammel and constrain the rest of the population.

    Boris socks it to the Puritans

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