The noun is derived from Middle English manacle, manakelle, manakil, manakyll, manicle, manikil, manycle, manykil, manykle, from Anglo-Norman manicle, manichle (“gauntlet; handle of a plough; (in plural) manacles”), and Middle French manicle, Old French manicle (“armlet; gauntlet; (in plural) manacles”) (modern French manicle, manique (“gauntlet”)), from Latin manicula (“handle of a plough; manacle”), from manus (“hand”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)meh₂- (“to beckon, signal”)) + -cula (from -culus, variant of -ulus (suffix forming diminutive nouns)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmænək(ə)l/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmænəkəl/
- Hyphenation: ma‧na‧cle
manacle (plural manacles)
- A shackle for the wrist, usually consisting of a pair of joined rings; a handcuff; (by extension) a similar device put around an ankle to restrict free movement.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- And gainſt the General we will lift our ſwords
And either lanch his greedie thirſting throat,
Or take him priſoner, and his chaine ſhall ſerue
For Manackles, till he be ranſom’d home.
- c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ix], page 7, column 2:
- If 'gainſt your ſelfe you be incens'd, wee'le put you / (Like one that meanes his proper harme) in Manacles, / Then reaſon ſafely with you: [...]
- If you are angry with yourself, we'll put you / (Like one that means to commit suicide) in manacles, / then reason safely with you: [...]
- 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 370, column 1:
- For my ſake weare this [a bracelet], / It is a Manacle of Loue, Ile place it / Vpon this fayreſt Priſoner.
- 1877, Edward Payson Roe, A knight of the nineteenth century, Collier, page 109:
- "If you will go quietly with us we will employ no force," said the man in uniform; "otherwise we must use these;" and Haldane shuddered as light steel manacles were produced.
- 1912 February–July, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Under the Moons of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as “A Duel to the Death”, in A Princess of Mars, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., 1917, OCLC 419578288, page 143:
- Examining the manacles I saw that they fastened with a massive spring lock.
- 2013, James Walvin, “Mutinies and Revolts”, in Crossings: Africa, the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade, London: Reaktion Books, →ISBN, page 101:
- [T]he ships departed with equipment to keep the captives in check. Indeed it is that equipment – notably the chains and manacles – which to this day symbolizes the slave ships themselves. The repressive machinery of the slave ship – cannons, swivel guns, hand guns, cutlasses, chains, manacles, thumbscrews – speaks not only of the fear of the ship's owners and crew but points us directly to the essential reality of the slave ships.
- (figuratively) A fetter, a restriction.
- c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iv], page 69, column 2:
- Admit no other way to ſaue his life / [...] that you, his Siſter, / Finding your ſelfe deſir'd of such a perſon, / Whoſe creadit with the Iudge, or owne great place, / Could fetch your Brother from the Manacles / Of the all-building-Law: and that there were / No earthly meane to ſaue him, but that either / You muſt lay downe the treaſures of your body, / To this ſuppoſed, or elſe to let him ſuffer: / What would you doe?
- 1795 November 29, Richard Ramsden, The Right to Life: A Sermon Preached before the University of Cambridge, November 29, 1795, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Printed by J. Burges printer to the University; and sold by W. H. Lunn, and J. Deighton, […]; and Mess. Rivington, […], OCLC 1102747202; quoted in “Art. 83. The Right to Life: […] By Richard Ramsden, […] [book review]”, in The Monthly Review; or, Literary Journal, Enlarged, volume XIX, London: Printed for R[alph] Griffiths; and sold by T[homas] Becket, […], 1796, OCLC 901376714, page 477:
- It is this [the commandment of God], which is the manacle of melancholy, when menacing ſuicide, and when deaf to every other diſſuaſive, or countroul; which quaſhes the ſilent, lurking purpoſe of diſontent, when misjudging it's preſent, and reckleſs of it's future deſtiny.
- 1835, [Catherine Maria Sedgwick], chapter XXI, in The Linwoods; or, “Sixty Years since” in America. [...] In Two Volumes, volume II, New York, N.Y.: Published by Harper & Brothers, […], OCLC 15724218, pages 47–48:
- You will wonder how I have escaped the manacles that so long bound me. I cannot explain all now; but thus much I am permitted to say, that they were riveted by certain charms: and I cannot be assured of my freedom till I myself return them to him from whom they came—to him who has so long been the lord of my affections and master of my mind.
- (transitive, intransitive) To confine with manacles.
- 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii], page 6, column 1:
- [C]ome, / Ile manacle thy necke and feete together: / Sea water ſhalt thou drinke: thy food ſhall be / The freſh-brooke Muſſels, wither'd roots, and huskes / Wherein the Acorne cradled.
- 1649, “185. The Trial of Colonel John Morris, Governor of Pontefract Castle; at the Assizes at the Castle of York, before Mr. John Puleston, and Mr. Baron Thorpe, Justices of Assize, for High Treason: […]”, in [William] Cobbett, editor, Cobbett’s Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanours from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, volume IV, London: Printed by T[homas] C[urson] Hansard, […]; published by R. Bagshaw [et al.], published 1809, OCLC 557893808, column 1266:
- My lord, I humbly desire that we may not be manacled; if you make any doubt of us, that we may have a greater guard upon us. [...] Mr. Sheriff, I desire that this manacling may be forborn: if you please to clap a guard of a hundred men upon us, I shall pay for it. This is not only a disgrace to me, but in general to all soldiers; which doth more trouble me than the loss of my life.
- 1833, “Tortures, by Iron Collars, Chains, Fetters, Handcuffs, &c.”, in American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses (The Anti-Slavery Examiner; 10), New York, N.Y.: Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, […], published May 1839, OCLC 17791419, page 76, column 1:
- A few weeks since we gave an account of a company of men, women and children, part of whom were manacled, passing through our streets. Last week, a number of slaves were driven through the main street of our city, among whom were a number manacled together, two abreast, all connected by, and supporting a heavy iron chain, which extended the whole length of the line. [From the Western Luminary, Lexington, Kentucky.]
- 1860 December – 1861 August, Charles Dickens, chapter XV, in Great Expectations […], volume III, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published October 1861, OCLC 3359935, page 259:
- As it came nearer, I saw it to be Magwitch, swimming, but not swimming freely. He was taken on board, and instantly manacled at the wrists and ankles.
- 1912 February, “Drops, Manacled, in Water from 98-foot Height”, in H[enry] H[aven] Windsor, editor, Popular Mechanics Magazine, volume 17, number 2, Chicago, Ill.: Popular Mechanics Co., ISSN 0032-4558, OCLC 506031407, page 253, column 2:
- Not satisfied with the feats by which he has won the title of "Handcuff King," this man recently dropped from a height of 98 ft. into the harbor at Sydney, Australia, with his hands manacled behind his back, and his eyes blindfolded. A year or so ago his "star" feat was making an escape from a bag in which he was placed, both hands and feet manacled, and thrown into the water.
- 1912 February–July, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Under the Moons of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as “A Duel to the Death”, in A Princess of Mars, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., 1917, OCLC 419578288, pages 143–144:
- You have shown yourself a mighty fighter, and we do not wish to manacle you, so we hold you both in the easiest way that will yet ensure security.
- ^ “manicle, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 19 June 2019.
- ^ “manacle, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2000; “manacle, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ “manacle, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2000.