[ man-uh-kuhl ]
See synonyms for: manaclemanacledmanaclesmanacling on

  1. a shackle for the hand; handcuff.

  2. Usually manacles. restraints; checks.

verb (used with object),man·a·cled, man·a·cling.
  1. to handcuff; fetter.

  2. 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

Other words from manacle

  • un·man·a·cled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use manacle in a sentence

  • The three were presented to the press on Sunday morning blindfolded, manacled to chairs and showing signs of severe beatings.

    Reality Check in Ukraine | Jamie Dettmer | April 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • He looked up to see Auguste staring stonily at him, his manacled hands clenched into fists.

    Shaman | Robert Shea
  • He sat huddled up in his chair, his manacled hands clasped on the table before him, and then with a jerk sat upright.

    The Daffodil Mystery | Edgar Wallace
  • All of us leaped from our mattresses to witness the dreary procession of neck-chained and be-manacled convicted men.

    Tramping on Life | Harry Kemp
  • A few moments later the prisoner entered, walking with hands manacled, at the side of an imposing garde de Paris.

    Through the Wall | Cleveland Moffett

British Dictionary definitions for manacle


/ (ˈmænəkəl) /

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

  1. to put manacles on

  2. to confine or constrain

Origin of 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