Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

ball and chain

noun
     
ball and chain [singular]
1 something that limits your freedom and stops you from doing what you want to do:
The lower-tech side of the business was seen as a ball and chain.
2 a heavy metal ball on a chain, tied to a prisoner's legs, to stop the prisoner from escaping

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary