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A woman's ankles gyved with gyves.

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English *give, *gyve (found only in plural gives, gyves (shackles; fetters)). Of uncertain origin. Compare Welsh gefyn (fetter, shackle), Irish geibbionn (fetters), geimheal (fetter, chain, shackle).

The verb is from Middle English given, gyven (to shackle), from the noun.



gyve (plural gyves)

  1. A shackle or fetter, especially for the leg.
    • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2,[1]
      [] I would have thee gone:
      And yet no further than a wanton’s bird;
      Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
      Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
      And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
      So loving-jealous of his liberty.
    • 1845, William Lloyd Garrison, “The Triumph of Freedom” in The Liberty Bell, Boston: Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Fair, p. 192,[2]
      With head and heart and hand I’ll strive
      To break the rod, and rend the gyve,—
      The spoiler of his prey deprive,—
    • 1973, Kyril Bonfiglioli, Don’t Point That Thing at Me, New York: The Overlook Press, 2004, Chapter 15, p. 126,[3]
      Our gyves were removed and our possessions returned to us, except for my Banker’s Special.


gyve (third-person singular simple present gyves, present participle gyving, simple past and past participle gyved)

  1. To shackle, fetter, chain.
    • 1864, “A Fast-Day at Foxden”, in Atlantic Monthly Journal[4], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2006:
      "Say, rather, to melt the iron links which gyve soul to body," said Clifton ...
    • 2008, LD Brodsky, “A Devotee of the Southern Way of Making Love”, in Sheri L. Vadermolen, editor, The Complete Poems of Louis Daniel Brodsky: Volume Four, 1981-1985[5], Time Being Books, →ISBN, page 419:
      Gyved to a squeaky swivel seat in my office, …

Derived termsEdit


Norwegian NynorskEdit


gyve (present tense gyv, past tense gauv, past participle gove, present participle gyvande, imperative gyv)

  1. Alternative form of gyva