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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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British Dictionary definitions for tram-meller

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 tram-meller
trammel
mid-14c. (implied in trammeller) "net to catch fish," from M.Fr. tramail, from O.Fr. (c.1220), from L.L. tremaculum, perhaps meaning "a net made from three layers of meshes," from L. tri- "three" + macula "a mesh" (see mail (2)). It. tramaglio, Sp. trasmallo are Fr. loan-words. The verb is attested from 1530s, originally "to bind up (a corpse);" sense of "hinder, restrain" is from 1727.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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