} } Hobble | Define Hobble at Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

hobble

[hob-uh l] /ˈhɒb əl/
verb (used without object), hobbled, hobbling.
1.
to walk lamely; limp.
2.
to proceed irregularly and haltingly:
His verses hobble with their faulty meters.
verb (used with object), hobbled, hobbling.
3.
to cause to limp:
His tight shoes hobbled him.
4.
to fasten together the legs of (a horse, mule, etc.) by short lengths of rope to prevent free motion.
5.
to impede; hamper the progress of.
noun
6.
an act of hobbling; an uneven, halting gait; a limp.
7.
a rope, strap, etc., used to hobble an animal.
8.
hobbles, a leg harness for controlling the gait of a pacer.
9.
Archaic. an awkward or difficult situation.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English hobelen, apparently akin to hob protuberance, uneven ground, and to Dutch hobbelen, German hoppeln to jolt
Related forms
hobbler, noun
unhobbled, adjective
unhobbling, adjective
Synonyms
5. hinder, restrict, frustrate, cramp.
Antonyms
5. aid, assist, benefit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for hobble
  • Antiquated labour laws protect public-service workers but hobble private-sector productivity.
  • We hobble into the hospital for baths, breakfast, and a thorough examination.
  • hobble skirts and bound feet disappeared for a reason.
  • But the tactic could ultimately hobble or even doom reform.
  • Her slow, delicate hobble betrays her age and the status she held and lost.
  • Unless they are allowed to restructure their debt, extending payouts or reducing the principal, they will hobble along for years.
  • Either way there are risks: it may hobble a still-weak economy.
  • The same goes for the campaign to hobble the multinationals.
  • The cutbacks of thousands of jobs have raised concerns among economists and could hobble the current tepid.
  • It could hobble an oil company, drive it away and deprive the host government of critical revenues.
British Dictionary definitions for hobble

hobble

/ˈhɒbəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to walk with a lame awkward movement
2.
(transitive) to fetter the legs of (a horse) in order to restrict movement
3.
to progress unevenly or with difficulty
4.
(transitive) to hamper or restrict (the actions or scope of a person, organization, etc)
noun
5.
a strap, rope, etc, used to hobble a horse
6.
a limping gait
7.
(Brit, dialect) a difficult or embarrassing situation
8.
a castrated ferret
Also (for senses 2, 5) hopple
Derived Forms
hobbler, noun
Word Origin
C14: probably from Low German; compare Flemish hoppelen, Middle Dutch hobbelen to stammer
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hobble
v.

c.1300, hoblen "to rock back and forth, toss up and down," probably related to its Dutch cognate hobbelen (which, however, is not recorded before late 15c.).

Meaning "to walk lamely" is from c.1400. Transitive sense of "tie the legs (of an animal)" first recorded 1831, probably an alteration of 16c. hopple, cognate with Flemish hoppelen "to rock, jump," which also is related to Dutch hobbelen. Sense of "hamper, hinder" is c.1870. Related: Hobbled; hobbling. The noun is 1727, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hobble

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hobble

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with hobble

Nearby words for hobble