v. hob·bled, hob·bling, hob·bles
To walk or move along haltingly or with difficulty; limp.
1. To put a device around the legs of (a horse, for example) so as to hamper but not prevent movement.
2. To cause to limp.
3. To hamper the action or progress of; impede.
1. A hobbling walk or gait.
2. A device, such as a rope or strap, used to hobble an animal.
[Middle English hobblen, of Low German origin; akin to Middle Dutch hobbelen, to roll.]
Synonyms: hobble, fetter, handcuff, hogtie, manacle, shackle
These verbs mean to restrict the activity or free movement of: a graduate hobbled by debt; researchers fettered by outmoded thinking; entrepreneurs handcuffed by rigid regulations; leadership that refused to be hogtied; imagination manacled by fear; an artist shackled by convention.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.