verb (used without object), hobbled, hobbling.
to walk lamely; limp.
to proceed irregularly and haltingly: His verses hobble with their faulty meters.
verb (used with object), hobbled, hobbling.
to cause to limp: His tight shoes hobbled him.
to fasten together the legs of (a horse, mule, etc.) by short lengths of rope to prevent free motion.
to impede; hamper the progress of.
an act of hobbling; an uneven, halting gait; a limp.
a rope, strap, etc., used to hobble an animal.
hobbles, a leg harness for controlling the gait of a pacer.
Archaic. an awkward or difficult situation.

1300–50; Middle English hobelen, apparently akin to hob protuberance, uneven ground, and to Dutch hobbelen, German hoppeln to jolt

hobbler, noun
unhobbled, adjective
unhobbling, adjective

5. hinder, restrict, frustrate, cramp.

5. aid, assist, benefit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hobble (ˈhɒbəl)
1.  (intr) to walk with a lame awkward movement
2.  (tr) to fetter the legs of (a horse) in order to restrict movement
3.  to progress unevenly or with difficulty
4.  (tr) to hamper or restrict (the actions or scope of a person, organization, etc)
5.  a strap, rope, etc, used to hobble a horse
6.  a limping gait
7.  dialect (Brit) a difficult or embarrassing situation
8.  a castrated ferret
[C14: probably from Low German; compare Flemish hoppelen, Middle Dutch hobbelen to stammer]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, hoblen "to rock back and forth, toss up and down," probably related to its Du. cognate hobbelen. Transitive sense of "tie the legs of an animal" first recorded 1831, probably an alteration of 16c. hopple, cognate with Flem. hoppelen "to rock, jump," related to Du. hobbelen. Sense of "hamper,
hinder" is c.1870.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It spoils the enjoyment of a campus tour if your visitor is hobbling around in
  slick-soled shoes.
But in a global economy, hobbling businesses unilaterally can be a disadvantage.
It was as if after hobbling around with bound feet she were suddenly unbandaged
  and told to become a marathon runner.
You're only hobbling their growth and teaching them that my job is unimportant
  and not worthy of their respect and attention.
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