- to walk lamely; limp.
- to proceed irregularly and haltingly: His verses hobble with their faulty meters.
- to cause to limp: His tight shoes hobbled him.
- to fasten together the legs of (a horse, mule, etc.) by short lengths of rope to prevent free motion.
- to impede; hamper the progress of.
- an act of hobbling; an uneven, halting gait; a limp.
- a rope, strap, etc., used to hobble an animal.
- hobbles, a leg harness for controlling the gait of a pacer.
- Archaic. an awkward or difficult situation.
Origin of hobble
SynonymsSee more synonyms for hobble on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hobbled
And it was the most that could squeak through a filibuster- hobbled Senate.The Indispensible Nancy Pelosi
March 25, 2014
The best laid plans: Instead it was Mitt himself who came up lame, hobbled and lacerated by his own tripping tongue.The Ugly American: Mitt Romney’s Disastrous Overseas Excursion
July 31, 2012
Mitt Romney is a two-time loser this week, hobbled by Democratic attacks and friendly fire from his own side.Blasts from the Past Wound Romney
May 18, 2012
Netanyahu can no longer claim to be hobbled on the peace front by coalition politics and resistance from his minority parties.How to Revive The Peace Process: A Modest Proposal
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
May 9, 2012
Lawmakers “are leaving town just as one of the most important agencies in Washington is hobbled,” Goldfarb says.The Shutdown Safety Scare
August 4, 2011
Away he hobbled, and arrived at the house of the head-master.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
With which laconic remark Newman turned round and hobbled away.The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby
Her fatigue became so great that she staggered and hobbled about on her numbed legs.
At last they had got to the end, and they hobbled away, saved—free!
He leaned heavily upon his cane as he hobbled back to the kitchen.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- (intr) to walk with a lame awkward movement
- (tr) to fetter the legs of (a horse) in order to restrict movement
- to progress unevenly or with difficulty
- (tr) to hamper or restrict (the actions or scope of a person, organization, etc)
- a strap, rope, etc, used to hobble a horse
- a limping gait
- British dialect a difficult or embarrassing situation
- a castrated ferret
Word Origin and History for hobbled
c.1300, hoblen "to rock back and forth, toss up and down," probably related to its Dutch cognate hobbelen (which, however, is not recorded before late 15c.).
Meaning "to walk lamely" is from c.1400. Transitive sense of "tie the legs (of an animal)" first recorded 1831, probably an alteration of 16c. hopple, cognate with Flemish hoppelen "to rock, jump," which also is related to Dutch hobbelen. Sense of "hamper, hinder" is c.1870. Related: Hobbled; hobbling. The noun is 1727, from the verb.