- a chain or shackle placed on the feet.
- Usually fetters. anything that confines or restrains: Boredom puts fetters upon the imagination.
- to put fetters upon.
- to confine; restrain.
Origin of fetter
Examples from the Web for fetter
Briefly, I sketched the Chief's report, Fetter nodding every few words.Priestess of the Flame
Sewell Peaslee Wright
Marriage is no fetter about a man or woman, binding both to that which they may get to hate.The Soul of a People
Each engagement, even a temporary one, was felt as a fetter by Erasmus.Erasmus and the Age of Reformation
It is a bauble meant to gratify her: why make it a fetter, be it ever so light a one?Molly Bawn
Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
The groan of breaking hearts is there—The falling lash—the fetter's clank!The Liberty Minstrel
George W. Clark
- (often plural) a chain or bond fastened round the ankle; shackle
- (usually plural) a check or restraintin fetters
- to restrict or confine
- to bind in fetters
Word Origin and History for fetter
Old English fetor "chain or shackle for the feet," from Proto-Germanic *fetero (cf. Old Saxon feteros (plural), Middle Dutch veter "fetter," in modern Dutch "lace, string," Old High German fezzera, Old Norse fiöturr, Swedish fjätter), from PIE root *ped- "foot" (see foot (n.)). The generalized sense of "anything that shackles" had evolved in Old English. Related Fetters.
c.1300, from Old English gefetrian (see fetter (n.)). Related: Fettered; fettering.