[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

Examples from the Web for manacled

Contemporary Examples of manacled

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

    The Daily Beast logo
    Reality Check in Ukraine

    Jamie Dettmer

    April 27, 2014

Historical Examples of manacled

  • He was manacled and guarded as though he were a raving madman.

  • I have already said my hands were manacled from the back; so also were Man Sing's.

    In the Forbidden Land

    Arnold Henry Savage Landor

  • His hands were manacled, his legs also were loaded with chains.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • When the President was manacled and at the mercy of the House they would be satisfied.

    Albert Gallatin

    John Austin Stevens

  • True, he was soon too weak to lift his manacled hands in strife.

    Shadows of Shasta

    Joaquin Miller

British Dictionary definitions for manacled



(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 manacled



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



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"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper