The noun is derived from Middle English manacle, manakelle, manakil, manakyll, manicle, manikil, manycle, manykil, manykle, from Anglo-Norman manicle, manichle (“gauntlet; handle of a plough; (in plural) manacles”), and Middle French manicle, Old French manicle (“armlet; gauntlet; (in plural) manacles”) (modern French manicle, manique (“gauntlet”)), from Latin manicula (“handle of a plough; manacle”), from manus (“hand”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)meh₂- (“to beckon, signal”)) + -cula (from -culus, variant of -ulus (suffix forming diminutive nouns)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmænək(ə)l/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmænəkəl/
- Hyphenation: ma‧na‧cle
manacle (plural manacles)
- A shackle for the wrist, usually consisting of a pair of joined rings; a handcuff; (by extension) a similar device put around an ankle to restrict free movement.
- c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ix], page 7, column 2:
- If 'gainſt your ſelfe you be incens'd, wee'le put you / (Like one that meanes his proper harme) in Manacles, / Then reaſon ſafely with you: [...]
- If you are angry with yourself, we'll put you / (Like one that means to commit suicide) in manacles, / then reason safely with you: [...]
- 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 370, column 1:
- For my ſake weare this [a bracelet], / It is a Manacle of Loue, Ile place it / Vpon this fayreſt Priſoner.
- 1912 February–July, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Under the Moons of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as “A Duel to the Death”, in A Princess of Mars, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., 1917, OCLC 419578288, page 143:
- Examining the manacles I saw that they fastened with a massive spring lock.
- 2013, James Walvin, “Mutinies and Revolts”, in Crossings: Africa, the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade, London: Reaktion Books, →ISBN, page 101:
- [T]he ships departed with equipment to keep the captives in check. Indeed it is that equipment – notably the chains and manacles – which to this day symbolizes the slave ships themselves. The repressive machinery of the slave ship – cannons, swivel guns, hand guns, cutlasses, chains, manacles, thumbscrews – speaks not only of the fear of the ship's owners and crew but points us directly to the essential reality of the slave ships.
- (figuratively) A fetter, a restriction.
- c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iv], page 69, column 2:
- Admit no other way to ſaue his life / [...] that you, his Siſter, / Finding your ſelfe deſir'd of such a perſon, / Whoſe creadit with the Iudge, or owne great place, / Could fetch your Brother from the Manacles / Of the all-building-Law: and that there were / No earthly meane to ſaue him, but that either / You muſt lay downe the treaſures of your body, / To this ſuppoſed, or elſe to let him ſuffer: / What would you doe?
- 1795 November 29, Richard Ramsden, The Right to Life: A Sermon Preached before the University of Cambridge, November 29, 1795, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Printed by J. Burges printer to the University; and sold by W. H. Lunn, and J. Deighton, […]; and Mess. Rivington, […], OCLC 1102747202; quoted in “Art. 83. The Right to Life: […] By Richard Ramsden, […] [book review]”, in The Monthly Review; or, Literary Journal, Enlarged, volume XIX, London: Printed for R[alph] Griffiths; and sold by T[homas] Becket, […], 1796, OCLC 901376714, page 477:
- It is this [the commandment of God], which is the manacle of melancholy, when menacing ſuicide, and when deaf to every other diſſuaſive, or countroul; which quaſhes the ſilent, lurking purpoſe of diſontent, when misjudging it's preſent, and reckleſs of it's future deſtiny.
- 1835, [Catherine Maria Sedgwick], chapter XXI, in The Linwoods; or, “Sixty Years since” in America. [...] In Two Volumes, volume II, New York, N.Y.: Published by Harper & Brothers, […], OCLC 15724218, pages 47–48:
- You will wonder how I have escaped the manacles that so long bound me. I cannot explain all now; but thus much I am permitted to say, that they were riveted by certain charms: and I cannot be assured of my freedom till I myself return them to him from whom they came—to him who has so long been the lord of my affections and master of my mind.
- (transitive, intransitive) To confine with manacles.
- 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii], page 6, column 1:
- [C]ome, / Ile manacle thy necke and feete together: / Sea water ſhalt thou drinke: thy food ſhall be / The freſh-brooke Muſſels, wither'd roots, and huskes / Wherein the Acorne cradled.
- 1649, “185. The Trial of Colonel John Morris, Governor of Pontefract Castle; at the Assizes at the Castle of York, before Mr. John Puleston, and Mr. Baron Thorpe, Justices of Assize, for High Treason: […]”, in [William] Cobbett, editor, Cobbett’s Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanours from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, volume IV, London: Printed by T[homas] C[urson] Hansard, […]; published by R. Bagshaw [et al.], published 1809, OCLC 557893808, column 1266:
- My lord, I humbly desire that we may not be manacled; if you make any doubt of us, that we may have a greater guard upon us. [...] Mr. Sheriff, I desire that this manacling may be forborn: if you please to clap a guard of a hundred men upon us, I shall pay for it. This is not only a disgrace to me, but in general to all soldiers; which doth more trouble me than the loss of my life.
- 1833, “Tortures, by Iron Collars, Chains, Fetters, Handcuffs, &c.”, in American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses (The Anti-Slavery Examiner; 10), New York, N.Y.: Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, […], published May 1839, OCLC 17791419, page 76, column 1:
- A few weeks since we gave an account of a company of men, women and children, part of whom were manacled, passing through our streets. Last week, a number of slaves were driven through the main street of our city, among whom were a number manacled together, two abreast, all connected by, and supporting a heavy iron chain, which extended the whole length of the line. [From the Western Luminary, Lexington, Kentucky.]
- 1860 December – 1861 August, Charles Dickens, chapter XV, in Great Expectations [...] In Three Volumes, volume III, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published October 1861, OCLC 3359935, page 259:
- As it came nearer, I saw it to be Magwitch, swimming, but not swimming freely. He was taken on board, and instantly manacled at the wrists and ankles.
- 1912 February, “Drops, Manacled, in Water from 98-foot Height”, in H[enry] H[aven] Windsor, editor, Popular Mechanics Magazine, volume 17, number 2, Chicago, Ill.: Popular Mechanics Co., ISSN 0032-4558, OCLC 506031407, page 253, column 2:
- Not satisfied with the feats by which he has won the title of "Handcuff King," this man recently dropped from a height of 98 ft. into the harbor at Sydney, Australia, with his hands manacled behind his back, and his eyes blindfolded. A year or so ago his "star" feat was making an escape from a bag in which he was placed, both hands and feet manacled, and thrown into the water.
- 1912 February–July, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Under the Moons of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as “A Duel to the Death”, in A Princess of Mars, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., 1917, OCLC 419578288, pages 143–144:
- You have shown yourself a mighty fighter, and we do not wish to manacle you, so we hold you both in the easiest way that will yet ensure security.
- ^ “manicle, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 19 June 2019.
- ^ “manacle, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, September 2000; “manacle, n.” in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press.
- ^ “manacle, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, September 2000.