Other forms: trammels; trammelled; trammeled; trammelling; trammeling; tramels

To trammel is to hamper or hinder — in other words, to keep someone from doing something. People in your neighborhood might lobby for speed bumps in order to trammel speeding cars.

When you use trammel as a verb, you're either talking about limiting or catching, like when a fisherman trammels cod in a net. As a noun, a trammel is some kind of restraint. There's the trammel that's used by horse trainers to restrain a horse and slow its gait, and the trammel that's basically a fishing net. The latter is the original meaning of trammel, from the Latin roots tri-, "three," and macula, "mesh."

Definitions of trammel
  1. verb
    place limits on (extent or access)
    synonyms: bound, confine, limit, restrain, restrict, throttle
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    reduce, tighten
    narrow or limit
    limit or restrict to
    restrict (school boys') movement to the dormitory or campus as a means of punishment
    draw a line, draw the line
    reasonably object (to) or set a limit (on)
    mark off, mark out
    set boundaries to and delimit
    harness, rein, rule
    keep in check
    baffle, regulate
    check the emission of (sound)
    cramp, halter, hamper, strangle
    prevent the progress or free movement of
    constrain, stiffen, tighten, tighten up
    clamp down, crack down
    repress or suppress (something regarded as undesirable)
    constrict, inhibit
    limit the range or extent of
    constrain, cumber, encumber, restrain
    hold back
    put a bridle on
    keep to the curb
    impede the motion of, as with a chain or a burden
    type of:
    check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
  2. verb
    catch in or as if in a trap
    synonyms: ensnare, entrap, snare, trap
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    trap with a snare
    type of:
    capture, catch
    capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping
  3. noun
    a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble
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    type of:
    constraint, restraint
    a device that impede's something's motion
  4. noun
    a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
    synonyms: bond, hamper, shackle
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    ball and chain
    heavy iron ball attached to a prisoner by a chain
    fetter, hobble
    a shackle for the ankles or feet
    cuff, handcuff, handlock, manacle
    shackle that consists of a metal loop that can be locked around the wrist; usually used in pairs
    chains, irons
    metal shackles; for hands or legs
    type of:
    constraint, restraint
    a device that impede's something's motion
  5. noun
    a fishing net with three layers; the outer two are coarse mesh and the loose inner layer is fine mesh
    synonyms: trammel net
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    type of:
    fishing net, fishnet
    a net that will enclose fish when it is pulled in
  6. noun
    an adjustable pothook set in a fireplace
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    type of:
    an S-shaped hook to suspend a pot over a fire
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘trammel'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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