trammel

[tram-uhl]
noun
  1. Usually trammels. a hindrance or impediment to free action; restraint: the trammels of custom.
  2. an instrument for drawing ellipses.
  3. Also called tram. a device used to align or adjust parts of a machine.
  4. trammel net.
  5. a fowling net.
  6. a contrivance hung in a fireplace to support pots or kettles over the fire.
  7. a fetter or shackle, especially one used in training a horse to amble.
verb (used with object), tram·meled, tram·mel·ing or (especially British) tram·melled, tram·mel·ling.
  1. to involve or hold in trammels; restrain.
  2. to catch or entangle in or as in a net.

Origin of trammel

1325–75; Middle English tramayle < Middle French tramail, variant of tremail three-mesh net < Late Latin trēmaculum, equivalent to Latin trē(s) three + macula mesh
Related formstram·mel·er; especially British, tram·mel·ler, nounun·tram·meled, adjectiveun·tram·melled, adjective

Synonyms for trammel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for trammeled

Historical Examples of trammeled

  • She was determined that her sisters' lives should not be trammeled by her weakness.

    Girls and Women

    Harriet E. Paine (AKA E. Chester}

  • Because he was not trammeled by the arrangements of Ahab's house.

    Elijah the Tishbite

    C. (Charles) H. (Henry) Mackintosh

  • But I have to live my life myself, and will not be trammeled by any conventions of your social world.

  • And even if such be needful, why must the personal essence be trammeled by the same old worn-out habiliments of error?

    Once a Greech

    Evelyn E. Smith

  • It is only rarely that he is trammeled with being forced to write contrary to his convictions.

    News Writing

    M. Lyle Spencer


British Dictionary definitions for trammeled

trammel

noun
  1. (often plural) a hindrance to free action or movement
  2. Also called: trammel net a fishing net in three sections, the two outer nets having a large mesh and the middle one a fine mesh
  3. rare a fowling net
  4. US a fetter or shackle, esp one used in teaching a horse to amble
  5. a device for drawing ellipses consisting of a flat sheet of metal, plastic, or wood having a cruciform slot in which run two pegs attached to a beam. The free end of the beam describes an ellipse
  6. (sometimes plural) another name for beam compass
  7. Also called: tram a gauge for setting up machines correctly
  8. a device set in a fireplace to support cooking pots
verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (tr)
  1. to hinder or restrain
  2. to catch or ensnare
  3. to produce an accurate setting of (a machine adjustment), as with a trammel
Derived Formstrammeller or US trammeler, noun

Word Origin for trammel

C14: from Old French tramail three-mesh net, from Late Latin trēmaculum, from Latin trēs three + macula hole, mesh in a net
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 trammeled

trammel

n.

mid-14c. (implied in trammeller) "net to catch fish," from Middle French tramail, from Old French (early 13c.), from Late Latin tremaculum, perhaps meaning "a net made from three layers of meshes," from Latin tri- "three" + macula "a mesh" (see mail (2)). Italian tramaglio, Spanish trasmallo are French loan-words.

trammel

v.

1530s, originally "to bind up (a corpse);" sense of "hinder, restrain" is from 1727, from trammel (n.). Related: Trammeled; trammeling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper