hobble

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English hobblen, hobelen, akin to Middle Dutch hoblen, hobbelen (Modern Dutch hobbelen).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈhɒbəl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒbəl

Noun[edit]

hobble (plural hobbles)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) One of the short straps tied between the legs of unfenced horses, allowing them to wander short distances but preventing them from running off.
  2. An unsteady, off-balance step.
  3. A difficult situation; a scrape.
  4. (dialect, Britain and Newfoundland) An odd job; a piece of casual work.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

A horse hobbled for veterinary purposes.

Verb[edit]

hobble (third-person singular simple present hobbles, present participle hobbling, simple past and past participle hobbled)

  1. To fetter by tying the legs; to restrict (a horse) with hobbles.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Dickens to this entry?)
  2. To walk lame, or unevenly.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The friar was hobbling the same way too.
  3. (figuratively) To move roughly or irregularly.
    • (Can we date this quote by Jeffreys and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The hobbling versification, the mean diction.
  4. To perplex; to embarrass.

Derived terms[edit]

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