Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[span-suh l] /ˈspæn səl/
a noosed rope with which to hobble an animal, especially a horse or cow.
verb (used with object), spanceled, spanceling or (especially British) spancelled, spancelling.
to fetter with or as with a spancel.
Origin of spancel
1600-10; < Low German spansel, derivative of spannen to stretch; see span2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for spancel
Historical Examples
  • As my horse was straying toward the west side of the clearing I went to fetch him back and spancel him near the fort.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • My wrist-cords were loosed, my ankles were fastened only with a spancel, and strong hands jerked me to my feet.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • I ordered my servant to spancel the mules, and tether the horse to a shrub by a long rope.

  • Langel; to tie the fore and the hind leg of a cow or goat with a spancel or fetter to prevent it going over fences.

British Dictionary definitions for spancel


a length of rope for hobbling an animal, esp a horse or cow
verb -cels, -celling, -celled (US) -cels, -celing, -celed
(transitive) to hobble (an animal) with a loose rope
Word Origin
C17: from Low German spansel, from spannen to stretch; see span²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for spancel

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for spancel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for spancel