What does fetter mean?

Definitions for fetter
ˈfɛt ərfet·ter

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word fetter.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fetter, hobbleverb

    a shackle for the ankles or feet

  2. fetter, shackleverb

    restrain with fetters


  1. fetternoun

    A chain or similar object used to bind a person or animal by its legs (usually in plural).

  2. fetternoun

    Anything that restricts or restrains in any way.

  3. fetterverb

    To shackle or bind up with fetters

  4. fetterverb

    To restrain or impede; to hamper.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FETTERnoun

    It is commonly used in the plural fetters. Chains for the feet; chains by which walking is hindered.

    Etymology: from feet; fettere , Saxon.

    Doctrine unto fools is as fetters on the feet, and like manacles on the right hand. Ecclus. xxi. 19.

    Drawing after me the chains and fetters whereunto I have been thirteen years tied, I have by other mens errours failed. Walter Raleigh, Apology.

    Passion’s too fierce to be in fetters bound,
    And nature flies him like enchanted ground. Dryden.

    The wretch in double fetters bound,
    Your potent mercy may release. Matthew Prior.

    I thought her pride
    Had broke your fetters, and assur’d your freedom. Ambrose Philips.

  2. To Fetterverb

    To bind; to enchain; to shackle; to tie.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Neither her great worthiness nor his own suffering for her, could fetter his fickleness. Philip Sidney.

    My conscience! thou art fetter’d
    More than my shanks and wrists. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    Fetter strong madness in a silken thread;
    Charm ach with air, and agony with words. William Shakespeare.

    Doth a master chide his servant because he doth not come, yet knows that the servant is chained and fettered, so as he cannot move? John Bramhall, against Hobbes.

    A chain which man to fetter man has made;
    By artifice impos’d, by fear obey’d. Matthew Prior.


  1. fetter

    Legcuffs are physical restraints used on the ankles of a person to allow walking only with a restricted stride and to prevent running and effective physical resistance. Frequently used alternative terms are leg cuffs, (leg/ankle) shackles, footcuffs, fetters or leg irons. The term "fetter" shares a root with the word "foot". Shackles are typically used on prisoners and slaves. Leg shackles also are used for chain gangs to keep them together.Metaphorically, a fetter may be anything that restricts or restrains in any way, hence the word "unfettered".

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fetternoun

    a chain or shackle for the feet; a chain by which an animal is confined by the foot, either made fast or disabled from free and rapid motion; a bond; a shackle

  2. Fetternoun

    anything that confines or restrains; a restraint

  3. Fetter

    to put fetters upon; to shackle or confine the feet of with a chain; to bind

  4. Fetter

    to restrain from motion; to impose restraints on; to confine; to enchain; as, fettered by obligations

  5. Etymology: [imp. & p. p. Fettered (); p. pr. & vb. n. Fettering.]


  1. Fetter

    In Buddhism, a mental fetter, chain or bond shackles a sentient being to saṃsāra, the cycle of lives with dukkha. By cutting through all fetters, one attains nibbāna.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Fetter

    fet′ėr, n. a chain or shackle for the feet: anything that restrains—used chiefly in pl.v.t. to put fetters on: to restrain.—adjs. Fett′ered, bound by fetters: (zool.) of feet bent backward and apparently unfit for walking; Fett′erless, without fetters, unrestrained.—n. Fett′erlock (her.) a shackle or lock. [A.S. feterfét, feet, pl. of fót, foot.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. fetter

    To put fetters upon; to shackle or confine the feet with a chain; to bind; to enchain. Deserters are sometimes fettered while undergoing punishment for the crime of desertion.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Fetter is ranked #8392 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Fetter surname appeared 3,944 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Fetter.

    93.8% or 3,702 total occurrences were White.
    2.1% or 86 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.5% or 60 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 34 total occurrences were Black.
    0.8% or 33 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.7% or 29 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce fetter?

How to say fetter in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fetter in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fetter in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of fetter in a Sentence

  1. Epictetus:

    Me in chains? You may fetter my leg but my will, not even Zeus himself can overpower.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for fetter

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • оковавам, ограничавам, букаи, окови, спъвамBulgarian
  • engrillonar, obstacle, impedir, grillóCatalan, Valencian
  • poutoCzech
  • FußschellenGerman
  • aherrojar, grillos, traba, manea, pihuela, impedir, pihuelas, obstáculo, engrillarSpanish
  • قید و بند, بند, غل و زنجیر, قید, بستنPersian
  • kahleet, rajoittaa, kahle, kahlitaFinnish
  • entrave, entraverFrench
  • cuibhrighIrish
  • cuibhrich, cuibhreach, dì-leumScottish Gaelic
  • béklyó, lábbilincs, bilincs, láncHungarian
  • katenizarIdo
  • hlekkja, fjötraIcelandic
  • incatenare, ceppi, ostacoli, ostacolare, ferriItalian
  • teneoLatin
  • оковува, о́ков, пра́нгаMacedonian
  • ထူးBurmese
  • boeienDutch
  • pęto, pęta, okowy, kajdanyPolish
  • prender, grilhetas, peia, ferros, agrilhoar, grilhões, acorrentar, encadearPortuguese
  • пу́ты, связывать, кандалы́, око́вы, сковывать, заковыватьRussian
  • राहुलSanskrit
  • fjättra, fotbojaSwedish
  • prangaTurkish
  • efirdjî, aroke, epîtoe, epasturer, atna, epîterWalloon
  • פעטערYiddish

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"fetter." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/fetter>.

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    an attendant who carries the golf clubs for a player
    • A. excogitate
    • B. descant
    • C. suffuse
    • D. caddie

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