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 ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.