[ uhn-fet-er ]
/ ʌnˈfɛt ər /

verb (used with object)

to release from fetters.
to free from restraint; liberate.

Nearby words

  1. unfederated malay states,
  2. unfeeling,
  3. unfeelingly,
  4. unfeigned,
  5. unfertilized,
  6. unfettered,
  7. unfilial,
  8. unfilled,
  9. unfiltered,
  10. unfindable

Origin of unfetter

First recorded in 1325–75, unfetter is from the Middle English word unfeteren. See un-2, fetter

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unfetter

  • Unfetter your thoughts from notions, prejudices and limitations.

    Supreme Personality|Delmer Eugene Croft
  • The red sand in the glass began to fall again, and its liberation seemed to unfetter my paralysed limbs.

    The Strong Arm|Robert Barr
  • To secure true progress, we must unfetter genius, and chain down mediocrity.

    Cannibals all!|George Fitzhugh
  • Scattergood was thinking, and to think, with him, meant so to unfetter his feet that he could wriggle his toes pleasurably.

    Scattergood Baines|Clarence Budington Kelland

British Dictionary definitions for unfetter


/ (ʌnˈfɛtə) /

verb (tr)

to release from fetters, bonds, etc
to release from restraint or inhibition
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 unfetter



mid-14c., from un- (2) "opposite of" + fetter (v.). The figurative sense is recorded from late 14c. Related: Unfettered; unfettering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper