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shackle, liberate, free, unchain


Caution and Prudence, Dominance and Dissent, Rigor and Rebellion, Restraint and Moderation



How to pronounce fetter (audio)


Dictionary definition of fetter

To restrain, restrict, or confine someone or something, typically by binding or chaining them physically or metaphorically.
"His responsibilities fetter his ability to pursue his hobbies."

Detailed meaning of fetter

When you fetter someone or something, you are effectively placing them in a state of bondage or limitation, preventing them from moving freely or achieving their full potential. This term can be used in both literal and figurative contexts. In a literal sense, fettering might involve physically shackling a person or animal. In a figurative sense, it can refer to imposing limitations or constraints on someone's actions, thoughts, or opportunities. For instance, fear can fetter someone's creativity by limiting their willingness to take risks. "Fetter" emphasizes the idea of restriction or confinement, often with the implication of hindering progress or freedom.

Example sentences containing fetter

1. The heavy chains fetter the prisoner's movement.
2. Don't let fear fetter your pursuit of your dreams.
3. Bureaucratic red tape can fetter innovation.
4. His responsibilities often fetter his creativity.
5. The old policies fetter progress in the company.
6. Let go of your doubts; they fetter your potential.

History and etymology of fetter

The verb 'fetter' can be traced back to its Old English predecessor, 'feter,' which in turn has Germanic roots. It is related to the Old High German 'fezzera' and Old Norse 'fetill,' all of which referred to various forms of restraints, including physical chains or shackles. The word 'fetter' has a long history of being used to describe the act of physically restraining or confining someone or something by binding them with fetters or chains. As language evolved, 'fetter' also took on a metaphorical sense, indicating the restriction or confinement of someone's actions, freedom, or potential in a broader, non-physical context. Thus, the etymology of 'fetter' reflects its origins in the physical restraint of binding, which has extended to encompass metaphorical constraints in contemporary usage.

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Further usage examples of fetter

1. Freedom of speech should not be fettered.
2. Ignorance can fetter one's ability to make informed decisions.
3. The law seeks to fetter the power of monopolies.
4. They felt fettered by societal expectations.
5. Tradition can sometimes fetter societal progress.
6. Addiction can fetter an individual's autonomy.
7. Mental barriers can fetter personal growth.
8. Economic disparities can fetter social mobility.
9. The weight of debt can fetter financial stability.
10. Negative thoughts can fetter emotional well-being.
11. Prejudice can fetter social harmony.
12. Age should not fetter one's pursuit of education.
13. Fear of failure can fetter entrepreneurial spirit.
14. Cultural norms may fetter individual expression.
15. They fetter the dog to keep it from running away.
16. The laws fetter the actions of the citizens.
17. The chains fetter the prisoner, restricting his movement.
18. Fear can fetter one's dreams and aspirations.
19. The strict regulations fetter the growth of entrepreneurship.
20. Preconceived notions fetter open-mindedness and acceptance.
21. The weight of expectations fetter her desire for independence.
22. Limiting beliefs fetter personal growth and development.
23. Financial constraints fetter their plans for travel.
24. The old traditions fetter societal progress.
25. Negative experiences can fetter trust in relationships.
26. Social norms fetter individual expression and authenticity.
27. Cultural biases fetter understanding and empathy.
28. Personal insecurities can fetter self-confidence and self-esteem.

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