- a ring or other fastening, as of iron, for securing the wrist, ankle, etc.; fetter.
- a hobble or fetter for a horse or other animal.
- the U-shaped bar of a padlock, one end of which is pivoted or sliding, the other end of which can be released, as for passing through a staple, and then fastened, as for securing a hasp.
- any of various fastening or coupling devices.
- Often shackles. anything that serves to prevent freedom of procedure, thought, etc.
- to put a shackle or shackles on; confine or restrain by a shackle or shackles.
- to fasten or couple with a shackle.
- to restrain in action, thought, etc., as by restrictions; restrict the freedom of.
Origin of shackle
SynonymsSee more synonyms for shackle on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for shackled
Fewer women are shackled during labor and delivery (PDF), though this still occurs.The GOP’s Hidden Ban on Prison Abortions
December 13, 2014
One prisoner, who was left naked and shackled to a cold floor, died of suspected hypothermia.What the Torture Report Kept Hidden
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
December 10, 2014
Detainees there were subject to sleep deprivation, shackled to bars with their hands above their heads.
He was kept in total darkness, kept cold, had music blasted at him and was shackled and hooded.
Some detainees were forced to walk around naked, or shackled with their hands above their heads.The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report’
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
December 9, 2014
They wanted me to be shackled: for early did they doubt my morals, as to the sex.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Cattermole, I believe, is earthed and shackled in the same manner.Modern Painters Volume I (of V)
Nearly all wore iron fetters on their legs, and some were shackled to the pillars.The Scapegoat
She saw the Padre shackled before he could rise from his blankets.The Golden Woman
This brought the pony's nose down close to his shackled feet.Blazed Trail Stories
Stewart Edward White
- (often plural) a metal ring or fastening, usually part of a pair used to secure a person's wrists or ankles; fetter
- (often plural) anything that confines or restricts freedom
- a rope, tether, or hobble for an animal
- a U-shaped bracket, the open end of which is closed by a bolt (shackle pin), used for securing ropes, chains, etc
- to confine with or as if with shackles
- to fasten or connect with a shackle
Word Origin and History for shackled
Old English sceacel "shackle, fetter," probably also in a general sense "a link or ring of a chain," from Proto-Germanic *skakula- (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch schakel "link of a chain, ring of a net," Old Norse skökull "pole of a carriage"), of uncertain origin. According to OED, the common notion of "something to fasten or attach" makes a connection with shake unlikely. Figurative use from early 13c. Related: Shackledom "marriage" (1771); shackle-bone "the wrist" (1570s).
mid-15c., from shackle (n.). Figurative use from 1560s. Related: Shackled; shackling.