View synonyms for hobble


[ hob-uhl ]

verb (used without object)

, hob·bled, hob·bling.
  1. to walk lamely; limp.
  2. to proceed irregularly and haltingly:

    His verses hobble with their faulty meters.

verb (used with object)

, hob·bled, hob·bling.
  1. to cause to limp:

    His tight shoes hobbled him.

  2. to fasten together the legs of (a horse, mule, etc.) by short lengths of rope to prevent free motion.
  3. to impede; hamper the progress of.

    Synonyms: cramp, frustrate, restrict, hinder

    Antonyms: benefit, assist, aid


  1. an act of hobbling; an uneven, halting gait; a limp.
  2. a rope, strap, etc., used to hobble an animal.
  3. hobbles, a leg harness for controlling the gait of a pacer.
  4. Archaic. an awkward or difficult situation.


/ ˈhɒbəl /


  1. intr to walk with a lame awkward movement
  2. tr to fetter the legs of (a horse) in order to restrict movement
  3. to progress unevenly or with difficulty
  4. tr to hamper or restrict (the actions or scope of a person, organization, etc)


  1. a strap, rope, etc, used to hobble a horse
  2. a limping gait
  3. dialect.
    a difficult or embarrassing situation
  4. a castrated ferret
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Derived Forms

  • ˈhobbler, noun
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Other Words From

  • hobbler noun
  • un·hobbled adjective
  • un·hobbling adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of hobble1

1300–50; Middle English hobelen, apparently akin to hob protuberance, uneven ground, and to Dutch hobbelen, German hoppeln to jolt
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Word History and Origins

Origin of hobble1

C14: probably from Low German; compare Flemish hoppelen, Middle Dutch hobbelen to stammer
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Example Sentences

Reduced global availability could send prices for these nutrients higher and financially hobble farm belts across a slew of countries.

From Time

This, more than any one scandal, is likely to hobble the party for the next few election cycles.

A few days before, she had managed to stand and hobble around the ward.

Hardly able to hobble into the room on his bruised and engorged feet, he sported black eyes.

Just the distraction that this kind of case creates can hobble even the most successful, well-run company.

When the flames began to bite on one side he could hobble around the post to the opposite side.

A little longer let me live, I pray—A little longer hobble round thy door.

You get us into a precious hobble through sheer wanton foolery, and then you expect me to like it.

You know about as much of a motor boat as a pig knows of the hobble skirt.

Our people when they are in a hobble always like to employ him, though he is somewhat dear.


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