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 (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 ?
Indeed, the mastery of the body that the film's performers exhibit counters Afro-Pessimist notions seen, for instance, in Ta-Nehisi Coates' Betzveen the World and Me (2015), in which the black body is always in an antagonistic relationship to the state, whether coffled, lynched, incarcerated, or executed in the streets.
Other creations include: "Aunt Jemima's Debut," "Our Glory," and "A Talisman for the Coffled." After reading narratives by former slave women, she designed "Mammy's Cakewalk," which represents black women in the antebellum South who survived by assuming a socially acceptable persona for white society.
And I soon had all but coffled myself to him, eating as well as sleeping with him, studying with him, even reading with him-not just the same book at the same time, but in his arms, page by page, passing a fluorescent pink highlighter back and forth between us.