from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To tie or secure, as with a rope or cord.
  • intransitive verb To hold or restrain by tying with rope or bonds:
  • intransitive verb To fasten or wrap by encircling, as with a belt or ribbon.
  • intransitive verb To bandage.
  • intransitive verb To compel, constrain, or unite.
  • intransitive verb To make certain or irrevocable.
  • intransitive verb Law To place under legal obligation.
  • intransitive verb To apprentice or indenture.
  • intransitive verb Chemistry To combine with, form a chemical bond with, or be taken up by, as an enzyme with its substrate.
  • intransitive verb To cause to cohere or stick together in a mass.
  • intransitive verb To constipate.
  • intransitive verb To enclose and fasten (the pages of a book or other printed material) between covers.
  • intransitive verb To furnish with an edge or border for protection, reinforcement, or ornamentation.
  • intransitive verb To tie up or fasten something.
  • intransitive verb To stick or become stuck.
  • intransitive verb To be uncomfortably tight or restricting, as clothes.
  • intransitive verb To become compact or solid; cohere.
  • intransitive verb To be compelling, constraining, or unifying.
  • intransitive verb Chemistry To combine chemically or form a chemical bond.
  • noun The act of binding.
  • noun The state of being bound.
  • noun Something that binds.
  • noun A place where something binds.
  • noun Informal A difficult, restrictive, or unresolvable situation.
  • noun Music A tie, slur, or brace.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make fast (to, on, or upon) with a band or bond of any kind.
  • To unite by any legal or moral tie; attach by considerations of love, duty, interest, obligation, etc.: as, bound in the bonds of matrimony; bound by gratitude, duty, debt, etc.
  • To put in bonds or fetters; deprive of liberty or of the use of the limbs by making fast physically.
  • To restrain; hold to a particular state, place, employment, etc.
  • To hinder or restrain (the bowels) from their natural operations; make costive; constipate.
  • To fasten around anything; fix in place by girding or tying: as, to bind a cord round the arm.
  • To encircle with a band or ligature; gird; confine or restrain by girding: as, “bind up those tresses,”
  • To swathe or bandage; cover and swathe with dressings: with up.
  • To form a border or edge on, for the purpose of strengthening or ornamenting; edge: as, to bind a wheel with a tire; to bind a garment or a carpet.
  • To tie or fasten (loose things) together with a band, cord, or tie; tie up into one bundle or mass: as, to bind sheaves of grain.
  • To fasten or secure within a cover, as a book or pamphlet. See bookbinding.
  • In fencing, to secure (the sword of an adversary). See binding, n., 3.
  • To cause to cohere; cement; knit; unite firmly: as, to bind the loose sand.
  • To place under obligation or compulsion: as, all are bound to obey the laws.
  • To put under legal obligation: often with over: as, to bind a man over to keep the peace.
  • Specifically To indenture as an apprentice: often with out.
  • To cohere; stick together.
  • To become indurated, hard, or stiff: as, clay binds by heat.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English binden, from Old English bindan; see bhendh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English bindan, from Proto-Germanic *bindanan (compare West Frisian bine, Dutch binden), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰendʰ- (“to tie”) (compare Welsh benn ("cart"), Latin offendīx ("knot, band"), Lithuanian beñdras ("partner"), Albanian bend ("servant,henchman"), bind ("to convince, persuade, tame"), Ancient Greek πεῖσμα (peisma, "cable, rope"), Sanskrit  (badhnāti)).


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  • So you're a medieval landlord, collecting property rent from your peasants in eels. How do you measure them?

    Eels were usually counted in units called sticks (25 eels) -- likely from the number of eels you can smoke on a stick at one time. 10 sticks of eels was called a bind.


    December 13, 2019