Definition of hobble in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhäbəl/


1 [no object] Walk in an awkward way, typically because of pain from an injury: he was hobbling around on crutches
More example sentences
  • After the initial shock and the pain, I hobbled back to Grandma's feeling sorry for myself.
  • And the Olympic silver medallist in Sydney looked to be in considerable pain as he hobbled off the track.
  • She turned right and continued to walk, Jon hobbling next to her.
limp, walk with difficulty, walk lamely, move unsteadily, walk haltingly;
shamble, totter, dodder, stagger, falter, stumble, lurch
2 [with object] Tie or strap together (the legs of a horse or other animal) to prevent it from straying.
Variant of hopple
Example sentences
  • He untacked and unloaded the horses, then hobbled them and set them loose to graze.
  • So Wesley unloaded his horse, hobbled the poor, over-burdened beast and gave it a fond pat and wipe down.
  • Lash ropes and diamond hitches are untied, the horses unpacked and then hobbled or tethered in the meadow below camp.
2.1Cause (a person or animal) to limp: Johnson was still hobbled slightly by an ankle injury
More example sentences
  • The price of snapping that 11-game losing streak was Tom, who reinjured the groin that hobbled him earlier this season.
  • She was hobbled by shin-splints and, after a year on the team, she gave up hoops to focus her extracurricular energies completely on track.
  • Jeff Hornacek still is an outstanding shooter who also excels at many other aspects of the game, but he's hobbled by a sore knee.
2.2Restrict the activity or development of: cotton farmers hobbled by low prices
More example sentences
  • It would hobble the product and hobble the marketing at the same time.
  • Ten years ago, China cars were hobbled by shoddy quality, poor technology and little research and development in motor vehicles.
  • Today, we see that government, in practice, controls very little of the communications industry, despite every attempt to hobble private enterprise.


1 [in singular] An awkward way of walking, typically due to pain from an injury: he finished the game almost reduced to a hobble
More example sentences
  • He walks with a hobble and his wrists are limp, but Yearwood never let his disability stop him from pursuing his dream of being a marathon runner.
  • Elanor followed her slowly, she didn't entirely trust the shoes to hold her weight, and so she was forced to walk with an awkward sort of hobble.
  • The hobble became a rapid shuffle and then a quite respectable stroll, and the discomfort faded away.
2A rope or strap used for hobbling a horse or other animal.
Example sentences
  • Soon thereafter ride participants saw her with the short lead rope and hobbles in place, learning a lesson in discipline!
  • Then he took the hobbles off his black horse, which had been grazing nearby throughout the night, and slung the queen onto the mare's back over his saddlebags.
  • Trist leaped to the ground and removed the hobbles, picked up his rifle and the canteens, and grabbed the reins of the mare.



Pronunciation: /ˈhäb(ə)lər/
Example sentences
  • A quick scan around reveals some more hobblers, someone bleeding from his hand and another with a violently scarlet eye.
  • There is a sprinkling of hobblers, plenty of wincers, and almost universal hollow eyes and messed hair.
  • Along the river and especially around horseshoe bend you will notice that there are some large bollards on the river banks, these were used by the hobblers to haul the ships by hand.


Middle English: probably of Dutch or Low German origin and related to Dutch hobbelen 'rock from side to side'.

Words that rhyme with hobble

bobble, Chernobyl, cobble, gobble, knobble, nobble, squabble, wobble

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hob·ble

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