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trammel

[tram-uh l] /ˈtræm əl/
noun
1.
Usually, trammels. a hindrance or impediment to free action; restraint:
the trammels of custom.
2.
an instrument for drawing ellipses.
3.
Also called tram. a device used to align or adjust parts of a machine.
5.
a fowling net.
6.
a contrivance hung in a fireplace to support pots or kettles over the fire.
7.
a fetter or shackle, especially one used in training a horse to amble.
verb (used with object), trammeled, trammeling or (especially British) trammelled, trammelling.
8.
to involve or hold in trammels; restrain.
9.
to catch or entangle in or as in a net.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English tramayle < Middle French tramail, variant of tremail three-mesh net < Late Latin trēmaculum, equivalent to Latin trē(s) three + macula mesh
Related forms
trammeler; especially British, trammeller, noun
untrammeled, adjective
untrammelled, adjective
Synonyms
1. drag, hobble, curb, inhibition. 8. hinder, impede, obstruct, encumber.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for trammel
  • He thinks that an essay should be spontaneous and free from every artificial trammel.
  • The allowable depth of commercial gill nets, trammel nets, and other entangling nets may vary by area.
  • Sampling gear consisted of trammel and gill nets set overnight.
British Dictionary definitions for trammel

trammel

/ˈtræməl/
noun
1.
(often pl) a hindrance to free action or movement
2.
Also called trammel net. a fishing net in three sections, the two outer nets having a large mesh and the middle one a fine mesh
3.
(rare) a fowling net
4.
(US) a fetter or shackle, esp one used in teaching a horse to amble
5.
a device for drawing ellipses consisting of a flat sheet of metal, plastic, or wood having a cruciform slot in which run two pegs attached to a beam. The free end of the beam describes an ellipse
6.
(sometimes pl) another name for beam compass
7.
Also called tram. a gauge for setting up machines correctly
8.
a device set in a fireplace to support cooking pots
verb (transitive) -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
9.
to hinder or restrain
10.
to catch or ensnare
11.
to produce an accurate setting of (a machine adjustment), as with a trammel
Derived Forms
trammeller, (US) trammeler, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French tramail three-mesh net, from Late Latin trēmaculum, from Latin trēs three + macula hole, mesh in a net
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for trammel
n.

mid-14c. (implied in trammeller) "net to catch fish," from Middle French tramail, from Old French (early 13c.), from Late Latin tremaculum, perhaps meaning "a net made from three layers of meshes," from Latin tri- "three" + macula "a mesh" (see mail (2)). Italian tramaglio, Spanish trasmallo are French loan-words.

v.

1530s, originally "to bind up (a corpse);" sense of "hinder, restrain" is from 1727, from trammel (n.). Related: Trammeled; trammeling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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