[man-uh-kuh l]


a shackle for the hand; handcuff.
Usually manacles. restraints; checks.

verb (used with object), man·a·cled, man·a·cling.

to handcuff; fetter.
to hamper; restrain: He was manacled by his inhibitions.

Origin of manacle

1275–1325; Middle English, variant of manicle < Middle French: handcuff < Latin manicula small hand, handle of a plow. See manus, -i-, -cle1
Related formsun·man·a·cled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for manacle

fetter, chain, bracelet, shackle, iron, bond, pinion

Examples from the Web for manacle

Contemporary Examples of manacle

Historical Examples of manacle

British Dictionary definitions for manacle



(usually plural) a shackle, handcuff, or fetter, used to secure the hands of a prisoner, convict, etc

verb (tr)

to put manacles on
to confine or constrain

Word Origin for manacle

C14: via Old French from Latin manicula, diminutive of manus hand
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 manacle

mid-14c., "a fetter for the hand," from Old French manicle "manacles, handcuffs; bracelet; armor for the hands," from Latin manicula "handle," literally "little hand," diminutive of manicae "long sleeves of a tunic, gloves; armlets, gauntlets; handcuffs, manacles," from manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)). Related: Manacles.

In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear

[Blake, "Songs of Experience"]

c.1300, "to fetter with manacles," from manacle (n.). Related: Manacled; manacling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper