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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.
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.


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.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hobbler - someone who has a limp and walks with a hobbling gait
pedestrian, footer, walker - a person who travels by foot
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
A hobbler had the important task of towing river and canal boats through busy water routes used for the transport of goods and people.
The animals at this adventure farm live in this mystical land of little wooden homes and towers where the hobbler characters reside.
GOBBLER YAK The gobbler has no cobbler The yak pack lack a shack So is forced to be a hobbler. So don't attack or wisecrack, Jack.