a ring or other fastening, as of iron, for securing the wrist, ankle, etc.; fetter.
a hobble or fetter for a horse or other animal.
the U -shaped bar of a padlock, one end of which is pivoted or sliding, the other end of which can be released, as for passing through a staple, and then fastened, as for securing a hasp.
any of various fastening or coupling devices.
Often, shackles. anything that serves to prevent freedom of procedure, thought, etc.
verb (used with object), shackled, shackling.
to put a shackle or shackles on; confine or restrain by a shackle or shackles.
to fasten or couple with a shackle.
to restrain in action, thought, etc., as by restrictions; restrict the freedom of.

before 1000; (noun) Middle English schakle, schakyl(le); Old English sceacel fetter; cognate with Low German schakel hobble, Old Norse skǫkull wagon pole, (v.) late Middle English schaklyn, derivative of the noun

shackler, noun

1. chain, manacle, handcuff, gyve, bilboes. 5. obstacle, obstruction, impediment, encumbrance. 6. restrict, fetter, chain, handcuff, hobble. 8. trammel, impede, slow, stultify, dull.

6, 8. liberate, free. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To shackled
World English Dictionary
shackle (ˈʃækəl)
1.  (often plural) a metal ring or fastening, usually part of a pair used to secure a person's wrists or ankles; fetter
2.  (often plural) anything that confines or restricts freedom
3.  a rope, tether, or hobble for an animal
4.  a U-shaped bracket, the open end of which is closed by a bolt (shackle pin), used for securing ropes, chains, etc
5.  to confine with or as if with shackles
6.  to fasten or connect with a shackle
[Old English sceacel; related to Dutch schakel, Old Norse skokull wagon pole, Latin cingere to surround]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. sceacel, from P.Gmc. *skakula- (cf. M.Du., Du. schakel "link of a chain," O.N. skökull "pole of a carriage"), of uncertain origin. The common notion of "something to fasten or attach" makes a connection with shake unlikely. The verb is first recorded c.1440. Shacklebolt "bolt which passes through
the eyes of a shackle" is recorded from 1688.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Right or wrong are shackled to the human language system.
Whenever they are removed from their cells, they are shackled.
But now politicians get in and their hands are shackled.
Prisoners, shackled to one another, climb off a barge onto a dock.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature