Definition of shackle in English:

shackle

noun

  • 1A pair of fetters connected together by a chain, used to fasten a prisoner's wrists or ankles together.

    • ‘As Jordan walked through the school gates it was as if iron shackles fell over his wrists and weighed him down.’
    • ‘When Francis came to, he found himself in a cavernous room, suspended a metre or more above the ground, by sturdy shackles on his wrists and ankles.’
    • ‘He tugged on the chain connecting my shackles together’
    • ‘The boy was wearing a blue and black prisoner uniform with broken shackles on his wrists and feet.’
    • ‘I noticed that she had cuffs around her wrists and ankles, like shackles without the chains.’
    • ‘The shackles on his ankles and the handcuffs on his wrist made him ache.’
    • ‘Your client is not in shackles in the prison itself, only when being transported to and from…’
    • ‘She saw Avery in the prison yard hanging from the shackles on his wrists.’
    • ‘As she moved her hand to massage her temples, she felt the weight of heavy chains and shackles around her wrists.’
    • ‘The men roughly pulled Prudence and the others from the wagon and put cast iron shackles around their wrists, attaching them to the cart so they wouldn't get away.’
    • ‘She could tell he was chained to a wall with iron shackles on each wrist and she assumed on his ankles too.’
    • ‘She found herself in a dark cold cell with chains around her wrists and shackles around her ankles.’
    • ‘‘I'm sorry,’ he said, and he took a pair of shackles and locked them around her wrists, chaining her to the wall.’
    • ‘If the pain from the raw electricity didn't kill the prisoner, the shackles would.’
    • ‘The article reported that the girl was detained in handcuffs and shackles.’
    • ‘Finally, he reached into his knapsack, removing a pair of handcuffs and leg shackles to restrain Nathan.’
    • ‘She and I would never be broken apart again, and we would never have to feel the lash of a whip, hear someone call us ugly names, feel the cold cruelty of shackles and chains about our wrists and ankles.’
    • ‘She ran forward and quickly undid the shackles on his wrists and ankles.’
    • ‘He also wore shackles on his wrists and ankles as well as a metal collar around his neck to prevent his escape.’
    • ‘They caught up surprisingly fast and one tackled me to the ground while the other placed shackles on my ankles and wrists.’
    chains, fetters, irons, leg irons, manacles, handcuffs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A situation or factor that restrains or restricts someone or something.
      ‘society is going to throw off the shackles of racism and colonialism’
      • ‘Family support groups and consumers have come out in the open breaking the shackles of stigma and fighting for their rights.’
      • ‘With scarcity and stagnation cast aside, the economy could finally throw off the shackles of a crude good-for-good bartering system.’
      • ‘If there's one thing Taha's an extremist about, it's shattering the shackles of cultural isolation.’
      • ‘A communal project raising ostriches in the drought stricken areas of the Karas region is giving rural farmers a chance to escape the shackles of poverty.’
      • ‘By evoking the shamelessness of the mythic trickster, the creative artist overcomes shame and breaks through the shackles of social constraint.’
      • ‘Was this not a historic opportunity to break free from the shackles of class oppression and found a new society?’
      • ‘You can mail order to your heart's content, free from the shackles of provincial law.’
      • ‘With the shackles of the world cast off, he ventures off into the unknown, braving the storm to find the rainbow on the other side - just as he wants.’
      • ‘The secondary meaning of free, to free comics from the shackles of prejudice, had yet to be addressed.’
      • ‘It is time we cast off the shackles of this oppressive existence and let liberty, personal responsibility and social tolerance flourish in New Zealand.’
      • ‘With the bailout guarantee verbally and practically in place and the vision of a new economic dawn firmly put forth, the shackles of fear that had restrained excessive debt accumulation in the past have been shed.’
      • ‘This stylistic approach may have been a ploy to attract a wider reading public, but historians should more often throw off the shackles of pedantry and learn to write and read history as literature.’
      • ‘This leads me to ask what differences exist between those who have broken the shackles of a common dilemma and those who have not.’
      • ‘There's that secret burning desire in each of us that wants to break free from the shackles of obedience.’
      • ‘McElroy, who desperately wants to throw off the shackles of the drug world, has other plans.’
      • ‘She remains voiceless but the postures and the expressions convey the intense desire to break out of conventional modes, a desire to burst forth from the shackles of male suppression.’
      • ‘These are the people who yearn to get away from the shackles of the mouse and the motherboard.’
      • ‘When you've been trapped in the shackles of ballet most of your life, escaping to the world of contemporary dance can be liberating.’
      • ‘Well, thankfully we have an opportunity each fall to choose cinematic options that remove (to a degree) the shackles of the corporate system.’
      • ‘I see a people who have thrown off the shackles of witchcraft, which has bound people for centuries…’
  • 2A metal link, typically U-shaped, closed by a bolt, used to secure a chain or rope to something.

    • ‘So was the shackle which fastened it to the halyard.’
    1. 2.1A pivoted link connecting a spring in a vehicle's suspension to the body of the vehicle.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Chain with shackles.

    ‘the prisoner was shackled to the heavy steel chair in the centre of the room’
    • ‘They were accused of torturing and starving five of their eight adopted children - pulling out toenails, shackling them with chains and shocking them with electrical cords.’
    • ‘Lining the walls around him were other people: men, women, and even children, who were all chained and shackled, just as he was.’
    • ‘When not in a cell, prisoners are cuffed, shackled and escorted by two or three guards.’
    • ‘He awoke bound and shackled in a prison cell with three brute men with whips standing around him.’
    • ‘Joshua snapped his fingers and chains appeared by magic shackling both Duncan's arms and legs.’
    • ‘After all, if they hadn't, they would not have believed the judge and prosecutor would stoop to the level of shackling a first-grader.’
    • ‘A believer in strict discipline, he preferred forms of punishment like putting a prisoner in stocks or shackling him to a ball and chain.’
    • ‘The three prisoners who have been shackled up are frightened.’
    • ‘I do not think any prisoners in Australia are shackled.’
    • ‘At age 60, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf, handcuffed, shackled, and towing a 1,000-pound boat.’
    • ‘But shortly after, his arms and legs were shackled, and he was taken to one of New York's most notorious lock-ups - Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Centre.’
    • ‘In a corner, shackled and chained, was a grey mass.’
    • ‘Before they move you, they take you anywhere, you had to be shackled, and you had to have a chain on your waist, you had to be handcuffed.’
    • ‘She found herself chained and shackled to a big wooden board.’
    • ‘Together, they're a couple of test-lab refugees with little in common except for the three feet of chain that shackles them together.’
    • ‘He produced a statement from the prison officer to whom Mullen had been shackled who thought that the precaution was unnecessary.’
    • ‘When the door closed, it revealed a cell with the prisoners inside shackled to heavy metal balls resting on the wooden floor.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, as I got off the ship, chained and shackled, I didn't feel a deep yearning or nostalgic inclination to being on land.’
    • ‘The next day, the ship reached the shore of England and all the prisoners were handcuffed, shackled and forced into boats destined for the shore.’
    • ‘They are on-screen together during virtually the entire time, and for much of it, chained together by a meter-long chain shackled to their wrists.’
    chain, fetter, manacle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Restrain; limit.
      ‘they seek to shackle the oil and gas companies by imposing new controls’
      • ‘And unlike the anti-marketing Masters Tournament, which limits ads, the USGA doesn't shackle the networks.’
      • ‘As a Hindu I am proud to subscribe to a creed that is free of the restrictive dogmas of holy writ that refuses to be shackled to the limitations of a single holy book.’
      • ‘The ‘soft law’ approach allows states to tackle a problem collectively at a time when they do not want too strictly to shackle their freedom of action.’
      • ‘For once in her life she didn't feel shackled and chained.’
      • ‘I want to break free from the chains that shackle me to them.’

Origin

Old English sc(e)acul ‘fetter’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schakel link, coupling.

Pronunciation:

shackle

/ˈʃak(ə)l/