shackle


shackle
   a traditional unit of length used for measuring the lengths of nautical cables and chains, especially anchor chains. Anchor chains are formed by using shackles to join short lengths of chain. When the anchor is dropped and the chain runs out, a seaman counting the number of shackles can report the total length of chain deployed. The size of the unit therefore varied somewhat, depending on the length of the short chains used. In Britain, the unit became standardized in the 16th century at 12.5 fathoms (75 feet or 22.86 meters). In 1949, the Royal Navy adopted a length of 15 fathoms, which is 90 feet or 27.432 meters; this brought the British shackle in line with the U.S. unit, which is usually called the shot.

Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shackle — Shac kle, n. [Generally used in the plural.] [OE. schakkyll, schakle, AS. scacul, sceacul, a shackle, fr. scacan to shake; cf. D. schakel a link of a chain, a mesh, Icel. sk[ o]kull the pole of a cart. See {Shake}.] 1. Something which confines… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shackle — Shac kle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Shackled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shackling}.] 1. To tie or confine the limbs of, so as to prevent free motion; to bind with shackles; to fetter; to chain. [1913 Webster] To lead him shackled, and exposed to scorn Of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shackle — [n] restraint bracelet, chain, cuff, electronic ankle bracelet, fetter, handcuff, irons, leg iron, manacle, rope, trammel; concepts 130,191,500 shackle [v] restrain bind, chain, confine, cuff, fetter, handcuff, hog tie*, hold, hold captive,… …   New thesaurus

  • shackle — [shak′əl] n. [ME schakel < OE sceacel, akin to MDu schakel, chain link < ? IE base * (s)kenk , to gird, bind] 1. a metal fastening, usually one of a linked pair, for the wrist or ankle of a prisoner; fetter; manacle 2. anything that… …   English World dictionary

  • Shackle — Shac kle, n. Stubble. [Prov. Eng.] Pegge. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shackle — index arrest (apprehend), constrain (imprison), contain (restrain), detain (restrain), d …   Law dictionary

  • shackle — vb fetter, clog, trammel, *hamper, manacle, hog tie Analogous words: *restrain, curb, check, inhibit: *hinder, impede, obstruct, block, bar: restrict, circumscribe, confine, *limit Contrasted words: disencumber, disembarrass, *extricate: release …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • shackle — ► NOUN 1) (shackles) a pair of fetters connected by a chain, used to fasten a prisoner s wrists or ankles together. 2) (shackles) restraints or impediments. 3) a metal link or loop, closed by a bolt and used to secure a chain or rope to something …   English terms dictionary

  • Shackle — A shackle (also called gyve) is a U shaped piece of metal secured with a pin or bolt across the opening, or a hinged metal loop secured with a quick release locking pin mechanism. They are used as a connecting link in all manner of rigging… …   Wikipedia

  • shackle — {{11}}shackle (n.) O.E. sceacel, from P.Gmc. *skakula (Cf. M.Du., Du. schakel link of a chain, O.N. skökull pole of a carriage ), of uncertain origin. The common notion of something to fasten or attach makes a connection with shake unlikely.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • shackle — I UK [ˈʃæk(ə)l] / US noun [countable, usually plural] Word forms shackle : singular shackle plural shackles 1) mainly literary something that prevents you from doing what you want to do 2) one of a pair of connected metal rings that can be locked …   English dictionary