1. A shackle used to teach a horse to amble.
2. Something that restricts activity, expression, or progress; a restraint.
3. A vertically set fishing net of three layers, consisting of a finely meshed net between two nets of coarse mesh.
4. An instrument for drawing ellipses.
5. An instrument for gauging and adjusting parts of a machine; a tram.
6. An arrangement of links and a hook in a fireplace for raising and lowering a kettle.
tr.v. tram·meled, tram·mel·ing, tram·mels or tram·melled or tram·mel·ling
1. To enmesh in a fishing net.
2. To hinder the activity or free movement of.
[Middle English tramale, a kind of net, from Old French tramail, from Late Latin trēmaculum : Latin trēs, three; see trei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin macula, mesh.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.