Hobble



[hob-uh l] /ˈhɒb əl/

verb (used without object), hobbled, hobbling.
1.
to walk lamely; limp.
2.
to proceed irregularly and haltingly:
His verses hobble with their faulty meters.
verb (used with object), hobbled, hobbling.
3.
to cause to limp:
His tight shoes hobbled him.
4.
to fasten together the legs of (a horse, mule, etc.) by short lengths of rope to prevent free motion.
5.
to impede; hamper the progress of.
noun
6.
an act of hobbling; an uneven, halting gait; a limp.
7.
a rope, strap, etc., used to hobble an animal.
8.
hobbles, a leg harness for controlling the gait of a pacer.
9.
Archaic. an awkward or difficult situation.
/ˈhɒbəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to walk with a lame awkward movement
2.
(transitive) to fetter the legs of (a horse) in order to restrict movement
3.
to progress unevenly or with difficulty
4.
(transitive) to hamper or restrict (the actions or scope of a person, organization, etc)
noun
5.
a strap, rope, etc, used to hobble a horse
6.
a limping gait
7.
(Brit, dialect) a difficult or embarrassing situation
8.
a castrated ferret
v.

c.1300, hoblen “to rock back and forth, toss up and down,” probably related to its Dutch cognate hobbelen (which, however, is not recorded before late 15c.).

Meaning “to walk lamely” is from c.1400. Transitive sense of “tie the legs (of an animal)” first recorded 1831, probably an alteration of 16c. hopple, cognate with Flemish hoppelen “to rock, jump,” which also is related to Dutch hobbelen. Sense of “hamper, hinder” is c.1870. Related: Hobbled; hobbling. The noun is 1727, from the verb.

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