n. often manacles
1. A device for confining the hands, usually consisting of a set of two metal rings that are fastened about the wrists and joined by a metal chain.
2. Something that confines or restrains: "caught in the manacles of their language" (Cynthia Ozick).
tr.v. man·a·cled, man·a·cling, man·a·cles
1. To put manacles on (someone); restrain with manacles.
2. To restrain the action or progress of: "[She was] manacled by the restrictions of an overbearing father" (Lilian Faderman). See Synonyms at hobble.
[Middle English, from Old French manicle, from Latin manicula, diminutive of manus, hand; see man-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus