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.
1. They tried to handcuff him but, despite his injuries, he fought his way free.
2. The police search and handcuff both men.
3. Something, such as a handcuff, that resembles a wrist ornament.
4. I done handcuff lightning and put thunder in jail.
5. The soldiers handcuff the ring leader and cover his head.