Definition of shackle in English:

shackle

noun

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

    • ‘They caught up surprisingly fast and one tackled me to the ground while the other placed shackles on my ankles and wrists.’
    • ‘If the pain from the raw electricity didn't kill the prisoner, the shackles would.’
    • ‘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 saw Avery in the prison yard hanging from the shackles on his 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.’
    • ‘He tugged on the chain connecting my shackles together’
    • ‘Finally, he reached into his knapsack, removing a pair of handcuffs and leg shackles to restrain Nathan.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The boy was wearing a blue and black prisoner uniform with broken shackles on his wrists and feet.’
    • ‘She found herself in a dark cold cell with chains around her wrists and shackles around her ankles.’
    • ‘She could tell he was chained to a wall with iron shackles on each wrist and she assumed on his ankles too.’
    • ‘As she moved her hand to massage her temples, she felt the weight of heavy chains and shackles around her wrists.’
    • ‘I noticed that she had cuffs around her wrists and ankles, like shackles without the chains.’
    • ‘‘I'm sorry,’ he said, and he took a pair of shackles and locked them around her wrists, chaining her to the wall.’
    • ‘Your client is not in shackles in the prison itself, only when being transported to and from…’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As Jordan walked through the school gates it was as if iron shackles fell over his wrists and weighed him down.’
    • ‘The shackles on his ankles and the handcuffs on his wrist made him ache.’
    • ‘The article reported that the girl was detained in handcuffs and shackles.’
    chains, fetters, irons, leg irons, manacles, handcuffs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used in reference to something that restrains or impedes.
      ‘society is going to throw off the shackles of racism and colonialism’
      • ‘You can mail order to your heart's content, free from the shackles of provincial law.’
      • ‘When you've been trapped in the shackles of ballet most of your life, escaping to the world of contemporary dance can be liberating.’
      • ‘It is time we cast off the shackles of this oppressive existence and let liberty, personal responsibility and social tolerance flourish in New Zealand.’
      • ‘This leads me to ask what differences exist between those who have broken the shackles of a common dilemma and those who have not.’
      • ‘Family support groups and consumers have come out in the open breaking the shackles of stigma and fighting for their rights.’
      • ‘I see a people who have thrown off the shackles of witchcraft, which has bound people for centuries…’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With scarcity and stagnation cast aside, the economy could finally throw off the shackles of a crude good-for-good bartering system.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These are the people who yearn to get away from the shackles of the mouse and the motherboard.’
      • ‘Was this not a historic opportunity to break free from the shackles of class oppression and found a new society?’
      • ‘By evoking the shamelessness of the mythic trickster, the creative artist overcomes shame and breaks through the shackles of social constraint.’
      • ‘Well, thankfully we have an opportunity each fall to choose cinematic options that remove (to a degree) the shackles of the corporate system.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's that secret burning desire in each of us that wants to break free from the shackles of obedience.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘McElroy, who desperately wants to throw off the shackles of the drug world, has other plans.’
      restrictions, trammels, restraints, constraints, straitjacket
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  • 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. 2.1 A pivoted link connecting a spring in a vehicle's suspension to the body of the vehicle.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Chain with shackles.

    • ‘The three prisoners who have been shackled up are frightened.’
    • ‘Together, they're a couple of test-lab refugees with little in common except for the three feet of chain that shackles them together.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, as I got off the ship, chained and shackled, I didn't feel a deep yearning or nostalgic inclination to being on land.’
    • ‘Lining the walls around him were other people: men, women, and even children, who were all chained and shackled, just as he was.’
    • ‘I do not think any prisoners in Australia are shackled.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When the door closed, it revealed a cell with the prisoners inside shackled to heavy metal balls resting on the wooden floor.’
    • ‘She found herself chained and shackled to a big wooden board.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When not in a cell, prisoners are cuffed, shackled and escorted by two or three guards.’
    • ‘He produced a statement from the prison officer to whom Mullen had been shackled who thought that the precaution was unnecessary.’
    • ‘In a corner, shackled and chained, was a grey mass.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Joshua snapped his fingers and chains appeared by magic shackling both Duncan's arms and legs.’
    • ‘At age 60, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf, handcuffed, shackled, and towing a 1,000-pound boat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He awoke bound and shackled in a prison cell with three brute men with whips standing around him.’
    • ‘A believer in strict discipline, he preferred forms of punishment like putting a prisoner in stocks or shackling him to a ball and chain.’
    chain, fetter, manacle
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    1. 1.1 Restrain; limit.
      ‘they seek to shackle the oil and gas companies by imposing new controls’
      • ‘For once in her life she didn't feel shackled and chained.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I want to break free from the chains that shackle me to them.’
      • ‘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.’
      restrain, restrict, limit, constrain
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

shackle

/ˈʃæk(ə)l//ˈSHak(ə)l/