Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

handcuff

[hand-kuhf]
See more synonyms for handcuff on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a ring-shaped metal device that can be locked around a person's wrist, usually one of a pair connected by a short chain or linked bar; shackle: The police put handcuffs on the suspect.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to put handcuffs on.
  2. to restrain or thwart (someone) by or as if by handcuffing: The amendments handcuffed the committee and prevented further action.
Show More

Origin of handcuff

First recorded in 1635–45; hand + cuff1
Related formsun·hand·cuff, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for handcuff

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for handcuff

handcuff

verb
  1. (tr) to put handcuffs on (a person); manacle
Show More
noun
  1. (plural) a pair of locking metal rings joined by a short bar or chain for securing prisoners, etc
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for handcuff

n.

1640s as a decorative addition to a sleeve; 1690s as a type of restraining device, from hand (n.) + cuff (n.). Old English had hondcops "a pair of hand cuffs," but the modern word is a re-invention. The verb is first attested 1720. Related: Handcuffed; handcuffing.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper