Shackle Definition

shăkəl
shackled, shackles, shackling
noun
shackles
A metal fastening, usually one of a linked pair, for the wrist or ankle of a prisoner; fetter; manacle.
Webster's New World
A hobble for an animal.
American Heritage
Any of several devices used in fastening or coupling.
Webster's New World
Anything that restrains freedom of expression or action.
The shackles of ignorance.
Webster's New World
The definition of a shackle is a literal or figurative restraint that keeps you in place or prevents you from doing what you want.
The chains that bind a prisoner's hands to his ankles are an example of a shackle.
If you believe you can't achieve your dreams, this belief is an example of a shackle.
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verb
shackled, shackles, shackling
To put shackles on; fetter.
Webster's New World
To fasten or connect with a shackle or shackles.
Webster's New World
To restrict, confine, or hamper.
American Heritage
To restrain in freedom of expression or action.
Webster's New World

By extension, to render immobile or incapable; to inhibit the progress or abilities of someone or something.

This law would effectively shackle its opposition.
Wiktionary
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Other Word Forms of Shackle

Noun

Singular:
shackle
Plural:
shackles

Origin of Shackle

  • From Middle English schakkyl, schakle, from Old English sceacel, sceacul, scacul (“shackle, bond, fetter"), from Proto-Germanic *skakulaz (“shackle"), from Proto-Indo-European *skeg-, *skek- (“to jump, move, shake, stir"), equivalent to shake +"Ž -le. Cognate with Dutch schakel (“link, shackle, clasp"), German Schäckel (“shackle"), Danish skagle (“a carriage trace"), Swedish skakel (“the loose shaft of a carriage"), Icelandic skökull (“a carriage pole").

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English schackel from Old English sceacel fetter

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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