Meaning of fetter in English:


Pronunciation /ˈfɛtə/

See synonyms for fetter

Translate fetter into Spanish


usually fetters
  • 1A chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner, typically placed around the ankles.

    ‘he lay bound with fetters of iron’
    • ‘Now a short chain led from my ankle fetters to an iron staple hammered into the floor.’
    • ‘He also announced a crackdown on bonded labor and said his government will ban indiscriminate use of fetters in prisons and while producing prisoners in courts.’
    • ‘Discipline was maintained by a free application of whips, fetters, stocks, manacles, chains and the kongo, an iron collar with a long beam.’
    • ‘Inmates can also move around freely, without fetters or handcuffs, and families can visit twice a week.’
    • ‘I stood up as quick as possible, intending to take off again, but a pair of strong hands, his hands, wrapped around my shoulders and held me in place like I had fetters attached to my ankles.’
    • ‘But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.’
    • ‘Rather than store their precious metals in vaults, Utopians used gold and silver to make chamber pots and stools, and ‘for the chains and fetters of their bondsmen.’’
    • ‘Wherefore The Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.’
    • ‘And they… put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of bronze, and carried him to Babylon.’
    • ‘Once I have them fast in iron fetters, and confiscate the food and wine, I'll put an end to this outrageous curse!’
    • ‘And you will see the criminals that Day bound together in fetters.’
    • ‘It is a bitterly harsh regime, which punishes poor pupils by placing them in heavy iron fetters.’
    • ‘The seduction of the mind by the senses is symbolized by the fetters grasping the necks and legs of the prisoners in the cave, whom Plato describes as being invested in the false belief that the projected images they witness are real objects.’
    • ‘Greed is like a dark prison and vices are like fetters around one's feet.’
    shackles, manacles, handcuffs, irons, leg irons, chains, bonds
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    1. 1.1A restraint or check on someone's freedom to act.
      ‘the fetters of convention’
      • ‘They should be freed from the political fetters and given full freedom to act impartially.’
      • ‘It could make a person, an artist even, that hypothetical cipher of freedom from drab social fetters, wonder if she has been doing what she wanted all along.’
      • ‘There might be times when the tactics infringe individual freedoms such as the freedom to travel without fetter or freedoms of speech.’
      • ‘There are now new fetters on some of our freedoms, most we don't notice till we run into them.’
      • ‘Virtually no legal fetters exist to curb the resort to force; international legal standards afford only minimal protection.’
      • ‘It is contrary to the public interest because to admit such actions would place an undesirable fetter on freedom of speech.’
      • ‘In my judgment to impose such an obligation on a secured creditor would impose a serious fetter on the freedom of the secured creditor to exercise his power of sale over the charged property at the time and in the manner he chooses.’
      • ‘For Faqir, it is the belief that all poetic expression can convey the ineffable, disclosing the nature of their inner being unalloyed by the fetters of religious and social convention.’
      • ‘It is a de facto fetter on the Minister's freedom to formulate policy in Government and the electorate's right to vote for parties espousing particular policies.’
      • ‘It is said that the fetter on judicial review unlawfully discriminates against non-nationals on the ground of their nationality.’
      • ‘Provided it is made without fetter of confidence and so on.’
      • ‘In such circumstances it would, I think, place a serious fetter on negotiations between other parties if they knew that everything that passed between them would ultimately have to be revealed to the one obdurate litigant.’
      • ‘As for public policy, I accept that there is an important public interest in discouraging restraints on trade, and maintaining free and open competition unencumbered by the fetters of restrictive covenants.’
      • ‘To attempt to place upon the idea the fetters of an exact verbal formula could never have been sound.’
      • ‘But it cannot, nor does it attempt to, impose fetters on the obligations of police authorities to pass information between each other.’
      • ‘There are strict fetters on the ability of the court to imply further terms.’
      • ‘The Supreme Court has an obligation ‘to avoid putting fetters upon the future by needless pronouncements today.’’
      • ‘Yes, and then the distinction between substantive fetters on powers and manner and form provisions that deal with the way in which powers are to be exercised is one that will come to the fore.’
      restraint, constraint, curb, check, impediment, obstacle, barrier, handicap, bar, block, hindrance, encumbrance, disadvantage, drawback, snag, stumbling block
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[with object]
  • 1Restrain with chains or manacles, typically around the ankles.

    ‘there were no chains immediately available to fetter the prisoners’
    • ‘He has been, your Honour, conveyed back to the same strict custody, manacled and fettered.’
    • ‘She followed obediently, moving in ridiculously small steps because her ankles were fettered to her waist.’
    • ‘Although unshackled from the 15 kg iron chains that fettered them for three years, they are yet to come to terms with their freedom.’
    • ‘A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite.’
    • ‘His companions were fettered and handcuffed, and were carried in a bullock cart to Delhi.’
    shackle, manacle, handcuff, clap in irons, put in chains, chain, chain up, bind, tie, tie up, tether, rope, hobble
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    1. 1.1Confine or restrict (someone)
      ‘he was not fettered by tradition’
      • ‘Yes, it means having a nationality, and more often than not, a religion, and so on; all of these things which really fetter us I think.’
      • ‘If the freed slave was not fettered by this social contract (self-disciplined productive laborer and consumer), she was criminal.’
      • ‘Just a little woozy… sane enough, but of course, to spit out the entire chemistry of the substance that fettered us with its silken strands.’
      • ‘I am appalled he would sanction the introduction of legislation such as this which, as Deputy Dukes said, will fetter the members of the House now and in the future.’
      • ‘For the corruption of weak choices results in a chain of habit being formed, which fetters the character and becomes second nature, flawed or ‘vitiated’ nature.’
      • ‘The benign prerogative of mercy reposed cannot be fettered by any legislative restrictions.’
      • ‘The principle thus given is of great importance and ought not, in my opinion, to be unduly fettered or restricted.’
      • ‘Let loose for his first full 90 minutes this week, in a reserve match against Montrose, he says he was refusing to be fettered by any constraints.’
      • ‘Whereas wrong desires restrict and fetter, right desires enhance and liberate.’
      • ‘Philosophers, however, were not fettered by such constraints.’
      • ‘Future work will not be fettered by previous constraints.’
      • ‘We certainly listened very closely to the advice provided by officials, weighed up the issues, and basically came down to the basis that we must not unduly fetter or hamstring the commission itself.’
      • ‘Women throughout the developed world, she adds, are in revolt ‘against a domestic role they believe fetters their personal freedom’.’
      • ‘Licensing, legal threats and intimidation directed at journalists all fetter press freedom.’
      • ‘How far can the government fetter its own future freedom of executive action by entering into a contract?’
      • ‘Mr Francis argued that it does because it fetters one of the important rights inherent in ownership, that of freedom of alienation.’
      • ‘A contract which unlawfully fetters the discretion of a purchaser is ultra vires and invalid.’
      • ‘It is important to avoid unduly fettering the power to amend the provisions of the scheme, thereby preventing the parties from making those changes which may be required by the exigencies of commercial life.’
      restrict, restrain, constrain, confine, limit
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Old English feter, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch veter ‘a lace’, from an Indo-European root shared by foot.