• WordNet 3.6
    • v shackle restrain with fetters
    • v shackle bind the arms of
    • n shackle a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
    • n shackle a U-shaped bar; the open end can be passed through chain links and closed with a bar
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Shackle A fetterlike band worn as an ornament. "Most of the men and women . . . had all earrings made of gold, and gold shackles about their legs and arms."
    • Shackle A link for connecting railroad cars; -- called also drawlink draglink, etc.
    • Shackle A link or loop, as in a chain, fitted with a movable bolt, so that the parts can be separated, or the loop removed; a clevis.
    • Shackle Figuratively: To bind or confine so as to prevent or embarrass action; to impede; to cumber. "Shackled by her devotion to the king, she seldom could pursue that object."
    • Shackle Hence, that which checks or prevents free action. "His very will seems to be in bonds and shackles ."
    • Shackle Something which confines the legs or arms so as to prevent their free motion; specifically, a ring or band inclosing the ankle or wrist, and fastened to a similar shackle on the other leg or arm, or to something else, by a chain or a strap; a gyve; a fetter. "His shackles empty left; himself escaped clean."
    • n Shackle Stubble.
    • Shackle The hinged and curved bar of a padlock, by which it is hung to the staple.
    • Shackle To join by a link or chain, as railroad cars.
    • Shackle To tie or confine the limbs of, so as to prevent free motion; to bind with shackles; to fetter; to chain. "To lead him shackled , and exposed to scorn
      Of gathering crowds, the Britons' boasted chief."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n shackle A bent or curved bar, as of iron, forming a link or staple used independently and not forming part of a continuous chain. The bar of a padlock which passes through the staple.
    • n shackle A form of insulator used for supporting telegraph-wires where the strain is considerable. It is usually of porcelain, with a hole through the center through which a bolt passes. This bolt secures the insulating spool to two iron straps by which it is secured to the pole or other support.
    • n shackle Hence Figuratively, anything which hinders, restrains, or confines.
    • n shackle In heraldry, some part of a chain or fetter used as a bearing, usually a single long, narrow link.
    • n shackle The wrist.
    • n shackle Synonyms . Shackle, Gyves, Manacle, Fetter, Shackle and gyves are general words, being: applicable to chains for either the arms or the legs, or perhaps any other part of the body, but gyves is now only elevated or poetic. By derivation, manacles are for the hands, and fetters for the feet.
    • shackle To chain; confine with shackles; manacle or fetter; hence, figuratively, to confine or bind so as to prevent or impede free action; clog; embarrass; hamper; impede; trammel.
    • shackle To join or make fast with a shackle.
    • n shackle Stubble.
    • n shackle A raffle.
    • shackle In electricity, to place an insulator between the ends of (a wire that has been cut).
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Shackle stubble
    • n Shackle shak′l a curved bar, as of iron: a link or staple: a link securing two ankle-rings or two wrist-rings together, and so (pl.) fetters, manacles: a hinderance
    • v.t Shackle to fetter: to tie the limbs of: to confine
    • ***


  • Ambrose Bierce
    “Habit is a shackle for the free.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “Well married a person has wings, poorly married shackles.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Generally used in the plural


In literature:

I could show you a community throwing off the shackles of idleness and ignorance.
"Contrary Mary" by Temple Bailey
To-day, the twenty-first birthday, was to be the first day of freedom, the last of shackles and dulness and commonplace.
"Great Possessions" by Mrs. Wilfrid Ward
If Brock's hands were shackled, he knew the art of sitting tight.
"The Story of Isaac Brock" by Walter R. Nursey
But Odin laughed in his wrath, and murmured: 'Ah, how long, Till the iron shall ring on the anvil for the shackles of thy wrong!
"The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs" by William Morris
We're goin' to knock out a shackle in the chain an' let her go to glory.
"Captain Scraggs" by Peter B. Kyne
I felt like a prisoner when liberated from his shackled bonds.
"The Black-Sealed Letter" by Andrew Learmont Spedon
That summer of '67 John capitulated to life, held his hands up for the shackles and put on shoes in summer for the first time.
"A Certain Rich Man" by William Allen White
These shackles are very heavy.
"The Victim" by Thomas Dixon
Our beloved America shall throw off the shameful shackles of racial prejudice.
"Twentieth Century Negro Literature" by Various
Their shackles are to be riveted on to-night.
"A Daughter of the Sioux" by Charles King
All this time the shackled Martian had lain on his back where we had left him bound.
"Edison's Conquest of Mars" by Garrett Putman Serviss
His legs were shackled and he had wristlets on his hands.
"Studies in Forensic Psychiatry" by Bernard Glueck
The soul is shackled by no fatalism.
"The Myths of the New World" by Daniel G. Brinton
Being by nature and inclination averse to shacklings, verbal or other, Charlotte gave the promise reluctantly, and the subject was dismissed.
"The Price" by Francis Lynde
The crew he shackled and threw overboard, while he burnt the vessel.
"The Pirates' Who's Who" by Philip Gosse
In joining the lengths together, the round end of the shackle is placed towards the anchor.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4" by Various
Luther is to Tegner a hero of liberty, a breaker of human shackles, a deliverer from spiritual bondage and gloom.
"Essays on Scandinavian Literature" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
We have no key to those shackles; could you turn them with a file?
"Mass' George" by George Manville Fenn
By great exertions, however, the messenger was again shackled together and the anchor hove up.
"The Three Admirals" by W.H.G. Kingston
Sure I did and I heard my parents discuss the efforts of slaves to shake off the shackles.
"Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 2" by Works Projects Administration

In poetry:

"No," shouts the Titan,
The young lion-throated;
"Thor, Vulcan, nor Jove
Cannot shackle and bind me."
"March" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Therein a fetter
Shall shackle and bind me,
Shall weigh down my shouting
With their delicate perfume!"
"March" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Shall Jove, the Thunderer,
Twine his swift lightnings
With his loud thunders,
And forge thee a shackle?
"March" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
A better land they founded,
That Freedom had for bride,
The shackles of old despotism
Struck from her limbs and side.
"The Puritans' Christmas" by Madison Julius Cawein
She shall wreathe them in shackles,
Shall weave them in fetters;
In chains shall she braid them,
And me shall she fetter.
"March" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
The things I love I may not touch,
But kiss the hand that shackles bring;
The thraldom of my soul is such
I can but nurse my thongs and sing,
And hope and pray that destiny
Will somehow yet unfetter me.
"Lines To Caste" by Samuel Alfred Beadle

In news:

After slavery controversy, Adidas pulls shackles shoe.
Jeremy Scott, features a plastic set of shackles .
Critics are fit to be tied over footwear giant Adidas' latest sneakers, which feature what looks like shackles attached to them.
Yes, I said handcuffs… shackles ….the stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable, most of w...
What Price For Shackle Space.
Adidas is pulling a sneaker set to debut in August that featured plastic shackles .
10 reasons 'Fifty Shades of Grey' has shackled readers.
But after state lawmakers banned shackling inmates in labor, her attorneys believe her case is a clear violation of the law.
Nevada lawmakers recently banned shackling inmates in labor.
Were we designed to wear shackles .
Bruce Springsteen's New Song ' Shackled And Drawn'.
Bruce Springsteen, ' Shackled & Drawn'.
Now that the electronic shackle is off, it's really nice not having to listen to the eerie computer-voice commands regularly broadcast from its plastic speaker.
Does a title shackle a person.
Adidas 'Shackle Sneakers' Stir up Controversy.