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v. hob·bled, hob·bling, hob·bles
To walk or move along haltingly or with difficulty; limp.
1. To put a device around the legs of (a horse, for example) so as to hamper but not prevent movement.
2. To cause to limp.
3. To hamper the action or progress of; impede.
1. A hobbling walk or gait.
2. A device, such as a rope or strap, used to hobble an animal.

[Middle English hobblen, of Low German origin; akin to Middle Dutch hobbelen, to roll.]

hob′bler n.
Synonyms: hobble, fetter, handcuff, hogtie, manacle, shackle
These verbs mean to restrict the activity or free movement of: a graduate hobbled by debt; researchers fettered by outmoded thinking; entrepreneurs handcuffed by rigid regulations; leadership that refused to be hogtied; imagination manacled by fear; an artist shackled by convention.


1. See Kicker chain.
2. A short chain with leather straps at each end that was used to fasten a horse’s or mule’s front legs close together so only short steps could be taken. Thus, hobbled animals could move about and forage at night but still not wander far away.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hobbler - someone who has a limp and walks with a hobbling gait
pedestrian, footer, walker - a person who travels by foot
References in periodicals archive ?
GOBBLER YAK The gobbler has no cobbler The yak pack lack a shack So is forced to be a hobbler.
A break in these expectations can trigger a positive or negative response toward this person (Burgoon and Hobbler as cited in Echard, 2008).
AT Penarth police court on Monday, before Colonel Guthrie and Major Thornley Henry Rendell, a dock hobbler, and Louisa Rendell, of Harriet Street, Cogan, were summoned for cruelty to their four children, whose ages ranged from seven years downward.