Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday June 1, 2005
fetter \FET-uhr\ , noun:
1. A chain or shackle for the feet; a bond; a shackle.
2. Anything that confines or restrains; a restraint.
1. To put fetters upon; to shackle or confine.
2. To restrain from progress or action; to impose restraints on; to confine.
The right ankle of one, indeed, is connected with the left ankle of another by a small iron fetter.
-- William Wilberforce, On the Horrors of the Slave Trade
But just let even a thumb's pressure be put upon me to tame the wild something in me, and I feel it like a fetter.
-- Kahlil Gibran, quoted in Kahlil Gibran, Man and Poet by Suheil Bushrui and Joe Jenkins
Only his hands have any action left in them. He uses them, struggling against the torpor that fetters him, to raise his rifle barrel and shoot the man in the floppy hat.
-- Robert Coover, Ghost Town
Fetter is from Middle English feter, from Old English. It is related to foot.