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fetter

[fet-er] /ˈfɛt ər/
noun
1.
a chain or shackle placed on the feet.
2.
Usually, fetters. anything that confines or restrains:
Boredom puts fetters upon the imagination.
verb (used with object)
3.
to put fetters upon.
4.
to confine; restrain.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English feter; cognate with Old High German fezzera, Old Norse fjǫturr; akin to foot
Related forms
fetterer, noun
fetterless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fetters
  • Especially is this so because though he breaks his fetters in many places he never escapes from them.
  • Other rich countries impose far fewer fetters than the land of the free.
  • Probably he thought that the picture of fetters and gyves in the minds of his disciples would better help the cause.
  • It may, of course, simply be that the fetters of euro membership alarm investors more than red ink.
  • He remembered his father's rise in salary, pitifully small he now realized, which had finally released his leg from its fetters.
  • And so on to the end of the long register, all toiling together in the galling fetters of the tenement.
  • The sea of a mighty population, held in galling fetters, heaves uneasily in the tenements.
  • The shop triumphs, and fetters more galling than ever are forged for the tenant.
British Dictionary definitions for fetters

fetter

/ˈfɛtə/
noun
1.
(often pl) a chain or bond fastened round the ankle; shackle
2.
(usually pl) a check or restraint: in fetters
verb (transitive)
3.
to restrict or confine
4.
to bind in fetters
Derived Forms
fetterer, noun
fetterless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English fetor; related to Old Norse fjöturr fetter, Old High German fezzera, Latin pedica fetter, impedīre to hinder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fetters

fetter

n.

Old English fetor "chain or shackle for the feet," from Proto-Germanic *fetero (cf. Old Saxon feteros (plural), Middle Dutch veter "fetter," in modern Dutch "lace, string," Old High German fezzera, Old Norse fiöturr, Swedish fjätter), from PIE root *ped- "foot" (see foot (n.)). The generalized sense of "anything that shackles" had evolved in Old English. Related Fetters.

v.

c.1300, from Old English gefetrian (see fetter (n.)). Related: Fettered; fettering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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