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."

Primary Meanings of trammel

place limits on (extent or access)
a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble
an adjustable pothook set in a fireplace
Full Definitions of trammel

v place limits on (extent or access)

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

v catch in or as if in a trap

ensnare, entrap, snare, trap
trap with a snare
Type of:
capture, catch
capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping

n a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble

Type of:
constraint, restraint
a device that impede's something's motion

n a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)

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

n a fishing net with three layers; the outer two are coarse mesh and the loose inner layer is fine mesh

trammel net
Type of:
fishing net, fishnet
a net that will enclose fish when it is pulled in

n an adjustable pothook set in a fireplace

Type of:
an S-shaped hook to suspend a pot over a fire

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