- a ring-shaped metal device that can be locked around a person’s wrist, usually one of a pair connected by a short chain or linked bar; shackle: The police put handcuffs on the suspect.
verb (used with object)
- to put handcuffs on.
- to restrain or thwart (someone) by or as if by handcuffing: The amendments handcuffed the committee and prevented further action.
- (tr) to put handcuffs on (a person); manacle
- (plural) a pair of locking metal rings joined by a short bar or chain for securing prisoners, etc
1640s as a decorative addition to a sleeve; 1690s as a type of restraining device, from hand (n.) + cuff (n.). Old English had hondcops “a pair of hand cuffs,” but the modern word is a re-invention. The verb is first attested 1720. Related: Handcuffed; handcuffing.