Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to fettered: imploring, pinioned, nescience


1. A device, usually one of a pair of rings connected to a chain, that is attached to the ankles or feet to restrict movement.
2. often fetters Something that serves to restrict; a restraint: the fetters of tyranny.
tr.v. fet·tered, fet·ter·ing, fet·ters
1. To put fetters on; shackle.
2. To restrict or restrain: thinking that is fettered by prejudice. See Synonyms at hobble.

[Middle English feter, from Old English; see ped- in Indo-European 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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.fettered - bound by chains fastened around the ankles
bound - confined by bonds; "bound and gagged hostages"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
He had been anaesthetized and stripped of his weapons, and as he rose to his feet he saw that one ankle was fettered to a chain in the wall.
He raised his fettered ankle and examined the lock.
The fettered ankle halted his first step, but he stretched at full length along the table, extending eager fingers toward the prize.
"To the upper chambers!" shouted the red man who was still fettered to the floor.
You know a distribution of labor is the source of all civilization--that trade is an exchange of equivalents--that custom-houses fetter these equivalents--that nothing which is fettered is free--"
"You will not deny, Clara, that any thing which is fettered is not free?
He is also to be authorized to grant "reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." Humanity and good policy conspire to dictate, that the benign prerogative of pardoning should be as little as possible fettered or embarrassed.
The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property.
And even now, I cannot comprehend on what motive she acted, or what fancied advantage it could be to her, to be fettered to a man for whom she had not the smallest regard, and who had only two thousand pounds in the world.
And at any rate, she lost nothing by continuing the engagement, for she has proved that it fettered neither her inclination nor her actions.
LARKANA -- Civil Judge of Ratodero Ahmed Ali Gabol on Thursday raided the residential quarter of the Keti Mumtaz SHO near Naudero and found two villagers, Ali Sher Korkani and Sadam Hussain Korkani, fettered and detained there.
BUREWALA -- The police claimed to have recovered a 12-year-old boy from the illegal-confinement of his father who had fettered his son after developing difference with his wife.