What does shackle mean?

Definitions for shackle
ˈʃæk əlshack·le

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word shackle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shackle, bond, hamper, trammelnoun

    a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)

  2. shackleverb

    a U-shaped bar; the open end can be passed through chain links and closed with a bar

  3. pinion, shackleverb

    bind the arms of

  4. fetter, shackleverb

    restrain with fetters


  1. shacklenoun

    A restraint fit over a human or animal appendage, such as a wrist, ankle or finger. Usually used in plural, to indicate a pair joined by a chain.

    Etymology: Akin to Old Norse skǫkull ( > Danish skagle).

  2. shacklenoun

    A U-shaped piece of metal secured with a pin or bolt across the opening, or a hinged metal loop secured with a quick-release locking pin mechanism. Sometimes referred to as a D shackle, a D closure or a green pin shackle.

    Etymology: Akin to Old Norse skǫkull ( > Danish skagle).

  3. shackleverb

    To restrain using shackles; to place in shackles.

    Etymology: Akin to Old Norse skǫkull ( > Danish skagle).

  4. shackleverb

    By extension, to render immobile or incapable; to inhibit the progress or abilities of someone or something.

    This law would effectively shackle its opposition.

    Etymology: Akin to Old Norse skǫkull ( > Danish skagle).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shacklenoun


    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  2. Shacklenoun

    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

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  3. Shacklenoun

    hence, that which checks or prevents free action

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  4. Shacklenoun

    a fetterlike band worn as an ornament

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  5. Shacklenoun

    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

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  6. Shacklenoun

    a link for connecting railroad cars; -- called also drawlink, draglink, etc

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  7. Shacklenoun

    the hinged and curved bar of a padlock, by which it is hung to the staple

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  8. Shackleverb

    to tie or confine the limbs of, so as to prevent free motion; to bind with shackles; to fetter; to chain

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  9. Shackleverb

    figuratively: To bind or confine so as to prevent or embarrass action; to impede; to cumber

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]

  10. Shackleverb

    to join by a link or chain, as railroad cars

    Etymology: [Generally used in the plural.]


  1. Shackle

    A shackle, also known as a gyve, is a U-shaped piece of metal secured with a clevis pin or bolt across the opening, or a hinged metal loop secured with a quick-release locking pin mechanism. The term also applies to handcuffs and other similarly conceived restraint devices that function in a similar manner. Shackles are the primary connecting link in all manner of rigging systems, from boats and ships to industrial crane rigging, as they allow different rigging subsets to be connected or disconnected quickly. A shackle is also the similarly shaped piece of metal used with a locking mechanism in padlocks. A carabiner is a variety of shackle used in mountaineering.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shackle

    shak′l, n. 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. to fetter: to tie the limbs of: to confine.—ns. Shack′le-bolt, a bolt having a shackle on the end: (her.) a bearing representing a fetlock for hobbling a horse; Shack′le-joint, a peculiar kind of articulation seen in the exoskeleton of some fishes. [A.S. sceacul, scacul, a shackle—sceacan, to shake; cog. with Old Dut. schakel, a link of a chain, Ice. skökull, the pole of a cart.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Shackle

    In telegraph lines a swinging insulator bracket for use where wires make an angle with the pole. A journal box is attached to the pole, like half of a gate hinge. To this a short iron arm is pivoted so as to be free to swing through a considerable angle. At its end an insulator is carried to which the wire is attached. The shackle swings into line with the wire, or takes a position for two wires corresponding to the resultant of their directions of pull.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. shackle

    [from the Anglo-Saxon sceacul]. A span with two eyes and a bolt, attached to open links in a chain-cable, at every 15 fathoms; they are fitted with a movable bolt, so that the chain can there be separated or coupled, as circumstances require. Also, an iron loop-hooked bolt moving on a pin, used for fastening the lower-deck port-bars.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce shackle?

How to say shackle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shackle in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shackle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of shackle in a Sentence

  1. Former President Jimmy Carter:

    What we inherited from the past must not be permitted to shackle us in the future. State of the Union Address January 19, 1977

  2. Councilman Jeffrey Johnson:

    The treatment of the family is unacceptable, it just shows the lack of training when we shackle a grieving sister, threaten a grieving mother and not even take care of a child lying on the ground.

  3. Igor Stravinsky:

    My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit.

  4. Kim Su-jung:

    I believe this ruling frees women from one shackle that had been suffocating them.

  5. Martinez Fischer:

    The men and women of the Texas House, many of whom are Black and Brown Democrats, are not animals or property to be corralled by law enforcement and cabined against our will. It is morally wrong to believe otherwise. We will not allow our democracy to devolve into dictatorship ; we will use every tool necessary to defend Texas Constitution, angry Republican threats to dispatch troopers to arrest, cuff, shackle, drag in, and cabin duly-elected lawmakers isn't just meant to chill our speech and impair our ability to represent our districts, it has left our families, friends, and neighbors anxious for our wellbeing and safety.

Images & Illustrations of shackle

  1. shackleshackleshackleshackleshackle

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Translations for shackle

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    a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
    • A. excogitate
    • B. exacerbate
    • C. suffuse
    • D. descant

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