from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A rope used to hobble an animal, as a sheep.
- transitive v. To hobble with a spancel.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a rope or fetter used to hobble a horse or other animal
- v. to hobble with a spancel
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A rope used for tying or hobbling the legs of a horse or cow.
- transitive v. To tie or hobble with a spancel.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To fasten the legs of with a spancel, as those of a cow or horse to prevent the animal from kicking.
- n. A fastening for the hind legs of a horse or cow, or for the legs on one side, to prevent the animal from kicking or straying; especially, a rope for fettering a cow's hind legs while she is milked; a tether.
He made a spancel-withe [This was a twig twisted in the form of two rings, joined by one straight piece, as used for hobbling horses and cattle.] then before he went, and wrote an ogam on its ----, and threw it on the top of the pillar.
Then Fergus put a spancel-withe through Etarcomol's two heels and took him behind his own chariot to the camp.
 And such is the measure of my wounds and my sores that I cannot bear my garments or my clothing to touch my skin, so that  spancel-hoops hold my cloak over me.
As my horse was straying toward the west side of the clearing I went to fetch him back and spancel him near the fort.
With a spancel rope fastened to his ankles Dale was further secured by a long cord tied around one wrist and fastened some fifteen feet up the trimmed sapling.
I asked, seizing the rope which was composed of leather belts and spancel-ropes.
My wrist-cords were loosed, my ankles were fastened only with a spancel, and strong hands jerked me to my feet.
I ordered my servant to spancel the mules, and tether the horse to a shrub by a long rope.