(kô′fəl, kŏf′əl)
A group of animals, prisoners, or slaves chained together in a line.
tr.v. cof·fled, cof·fling, cof·fles
To fasten together in a coffle.

[Arabic qāfila, caravan, feminine active participle of qafala, to close, return; see qpl in Semitic roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(esp formerly) a line of slaves, beasts, etc, fastened together
[C18: from Arabic qāfilah caravan]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


 a train of slaves or of beasts driven along together.
Examples: coffle of asses, 1799; of beasts; of horses, 1873; of slaves, 1799.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In discussing the genres in which Senior operates, Narain points to the historicizing of the Caribbean as itself an exploitative regime following on that of slavery--the sentence as coffle (p.
In Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth Century America, Saidiya Hartman writes that "nineteenth-century observers" of a coffle of enslaved people described that coffle (in its formation and its movement/passage) as "a domestic middle passage." (20) In "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book," Hortense Spillers writes that slavery transformed the black woman, she "became the principal point of passage between the human and the non-human world," and that Africans packed into the slave hold of the ship were marked according to Euro-Western definitions not as male and female but as differently sized and weighted property.
The slave coffle behind him stopped its shuffling as chicken eater failed to spear his choice.
In the Author's Note, Williams explains that Dessa Rose (1999) is based on two historical incidents, an 1829 story of a pregnant black woman in Kentucky who helped to engineer "an uprising on a coffle," and an 1830 story of a White woman who lived on an isolated farm in North Carolina that "was reported to have given sanctuary to runaway slaves" (p.
The narrator of "Heartland" connects physical decay to a widespread environmental and moral corrosion: the rat-infested, disease-smeared dungeons ringed with chains, the lifeless and desolate plain near the slave fort, the narrator's prison-like room "three short paces" long (14), the pervasive smell of the slave coffle, the governor's illness and death, the soldier Lewis's increasing degeneration and drunkenness, a fort official's terrible scarring and sexual abuse of the African girl, and the beating suffered by the narrator.
Bill Clinton had to (or "had to") demonstrate that those tired old liberal interest groups weren't a coffle around his ankle, and so he denounced Sister Souljah, passed NAFTA, supported welfare reform, and signed the Defense of Marriage Act.
Number by painful number you inch on like a coffle of slaves being sold down the river.
The seeds was ground to a fine a powder, using the coffle mill attachment of a Moulinex domestic food bender and the powder was kept in a desiccators for later use in stock solutions.
The slave had been condemned to death for leading an uprising of a coffle, a group of chained slaves, in 1829 Kentucky.
Sherley Anne Williams' 1986 novel imagines an encounter and the difficult bonding between two little-known figures from history who never met: A pregnant black woman in 1829 Kentucky who led an uprising on a slave coffle and was sentenced to hang; and a white woman living on an isolated farm in 1830 North Carolina who took in runaway slaves.
One close friend eloped, accompanied by a coffle of straight buddies, hiding the fact of his marriage from me.
in Columbus, Ohio; and AI Price Coffle in St Louis and