manacle

If a police officer has to manacle your hands behind your back, you're in big trouble. That's just a fancy way of saying that you've been handcuffed.

Used as a noun, manacle is a synonym for shackle, meaning "a metal chain or band, used to fasten someone’s hands or ankles together." You’re more likely to see the noun form of this word in its plural form manacles, since — like socks or mittens — a pair is usually required. (Quite unlike socks or mittens, manacles are not at all comfortable or pleasant to wear.) You can say that someone who has been restrained using manacles has been manacled.

Definitions of manacle
  1. noun
    shackle that consists of a metal loop that can be locked around the wrist; usually used in pairs
    synonyms: cuff, handcuff, handlock
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bond, hamper, shackle, trammel
    a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
  2. verb
    confine or restrain with or as if with manacles or handcuffs
    synonyms: cuff, handcuff
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fetter, shackle
    restrain with fetters
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week