When you hobble, you walk awkwardly or unsteadily because you're in pain. You might wipe out on your bike and then hobble back home, pushing it in front of you.

People who hobble, walking with a limp or a shuffle, have most often been injured in some way, though a disabled or elderly person might hobble too. You can call the walk itself a hobble as well: "I knew that football tackle hurt when I saw your hobble as you left the field." The root of hobble is Old English — it's related to the Dutch hobbelen, "rock from side to side."

Definitions of hobble
  1. verb
    walk impeded by some physical limitation or injury
    “The old woman hobbles down to the store every day”
    synonyms: gimp, hitch, limp
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    type of:
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
  2. verb
    strap the foreleg and hind leg together on each side (of a horse) in order to keep the legs on the same side moving in unison
    hobble race horses”
    synonyms: hopple
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    type of:
    tie with a strap
  3. verb
    hamper the action or progress of
    “The chairman was hobbled by the all-powerful dean”
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    type of:
    hinder, impede
    be a hindrance or obstacle to
  4. noun
    the uneven manner of walking that results from an injured leg
    synonyms: hitch, limp
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    type of:
    a person's manner of walking
  5. noun
    a shackle for the ankles or feet
    synonyms: fetter
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    type of:
    bond, hamper, shackle, trammel
    a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
Word Family

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