Definitions

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

  • n. The state of one who is bound as a slave or serf.
  • n. A state of subjection to a force, power, or influence.
  • n. The practice of being physically restrained, as with cords or handcuffs, as a means of attaining sexual gratification.
  • n. Villeinage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being enslaved or the practice of slavery.
  • n. The state of lacking freedom; constraint.
  • n. The practice of tying people up for sexual pleasure.
  • n. Applied to clothing with many buckles, zips, etc., associated with punk and goth subcultures.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being bound; condition of being under restraint; restraint of personal liberty by compulsion; involuntary servitude; slavery; captivity.
  • n. Obligation; tie of duty.
  • n. Villenage; tenure of land on condition of doing the meanest services for the owner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To reduce to bondage or slavery; enslave.
  • n. In old English law, villeinage; tenure of land by performing the meanest services for a superior.
  • n. In Scot. agri., the state of, or services due by, a bondager. See bondager.
  • n. [From the foregoing extract it will be seen that formerly the system had place not only, as now, between farmer and laborer, but also between proprietor and farmer.]
  • n. Obligation; tie of duty; binding power or influence.
  • n. Slavery or involuntary servitude; serfdom.
  • n. Captivity; imprisonment; restraint of a person's liberty by compulsion.
  • n. Figuratively, subjection to some power or influence: as, he is in bondage to his appetites.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the state of being under the control of another person
  • n. the state of being under the control of a force or influence or abstract power
  • n. sexual practice that involves physically restraining (by cords or handcuffs) one of the partners

Etymologies

Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from Middle English bonde, serf, from Old English bōnda, husbandman, from Old Norse bōndi, present participle of būa, to live.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bondage ("serfdom"), from Medieval Latin (Anglo-Latin) bondagium ("an inferior tenure held by a bond or husbandman"), from Middle English bond ("a tenant farmer, serf"), from Old English bonda ("a householder, husband, head of a family"), of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse bōndi, bōandi ("free-born farmer, husband", literally "dweller"), from bōa, būa ("to dwell"), from Proto-Germanic *būanan (“to dwell, wone”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhōw- (“to dwell”). Cognate with Icelandic and Faroese bóndi ("farmer"), Danish bo ("to dwell, wone"), German bauen ("to build"), Dutch boer ("boor, farmer"), English bower. See also neighbour, booth, build. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.