Definition of trammel in English:


Line breaks: tram|mel
Pronunciation: /ˈtram(ə)l


  • 2 (also trammel net) A three-layered dragnet, designed so that a fish entering through one of the large-meshed outer sections will push part of the finer-meshed central section through the large meshes on the further side, forming a pocket in which the fish is trapped.
    More example sentences
    • Researchers lifted a trammel net full of large Asian carp from Swan Lake, a backwater lake of the Illinois River, in 2001.
    • With the aid of electrofishing gear and trammel nets, biologists collect sexually mature fish and haul them to Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery, Arizona, where they are spawned.
    • The well-equipped vessel was lost with a full suite of gear, including VHF, echo sounder, plotter, autopilot, gill and trammel nets and a complete toolset.
  • 3An instrument consisting of a board with two grooves intersecting at right angles, in which the two ends of a beam compass can slide to draw an ellipse.
    [ early 18th century: so named because the motion of the beam is ‘restricted’ by the grooves]
    More example sentences
    • There are miter clamps, levels, plumb bobs, oil cans, planes, trammels, and so on.
    • As expected, Stanley tools were prominent but there was also a good selection of English tools as well as a nice assortment of planes, rules, trammels, saws, and levels by various makers.
    • Accessories for rules are presented in another chapter that describes attachments used with rules such as fences, protractors, gauges, trammels, and carrying cases.
  • 3.1A beam compass.
  • 4US A hook in a fireplace for a kettle.

verb (trammels, trammelling, trammelled; US trammels, trammeling, trammeled)

[with object] Back to top  


late Middle English (in sense 2 of the noun): from Old French tramail, from a medieval Latin variant of trimaculum, perhaps from Latin tri- 'three' + macula 'mesh'.

More definitions of trammel

Definition of trammel in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little