American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Obligatory: their bounden duty.
- adj. Archaic Being under obligation; obliged.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Obliged; bound, or under obligation; beholden.
- Appointed; indispensable; obligatory.
- [In both senses archaic, its only present common use being in the phrase bounden duty.]
GNU Webster's 1913
- obsolete Bound; fastened by bonds.
- Under obligation; bound by some favor rendered; obliged; beholden.
- Made obligatory; imposed as a duty; binding.
- adj. morally obligatory
- Middle English, past participle of binden, to bind, from Old English bindan; see bind. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Mr Virgo made it clear to the editor that it was his bounden duty to pass any information he might receive notifying the whereabouts of Biggs to police and this the editor said he would be happy to do...”
“He feels it is his bounden duty to resurrect the ancient spirit of the Church and to deliver its message to the masters.”
“No matter how much whisky was poured down his neck, O'Brien could not be brought to realize that it was his bounden and friendly duty to sell his claim.”
“If tomorrow we multiplied our effort to educate the next generation ten-fold, we should but begin our bounden duty.”
“If he manages to use these three 'Bs' to bamboozle a credulous electorate into voting him back into power it will be the bounden duty of the said Establishment to remove him.”
“It is the bounden duty of Australia A teams above all else to cut the Poms down to size before the big stuff starts, and just for a while mid-innings today, when England got the wobbles and lost a trio of wickets for 13 runs while still a hundred or so behind the hosts, it looked as if they might manage it once more.”
“May it please your good Lordship, That albeit we attend here on my Lady Elizabeth's Grace, our Mistress ... we do not forget our most bounden Duty, nor yet our Readiness in Words and Deeds to serve her Highness [Queen Mary] by all the Ways and Means that may stand in Us, both from her Grace, our Mistress, and of our own Parts also .. .166”
“On the transatlantic crossing homeward, he conversed with an American Catholic priest who said, “My country is just mad on this subject of drink and I have felt it my bounden duty as a priest to teach my flock how to make good honest liquor.””
“In 1963, less than 3 months after Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” he wrote in a column, “[It is] clearly the bounden duty of all intelligent Americans to proclaim and practice bigotry.””
“Shall consider it my bounden duty to go by your instructions as best as I can.”
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Words taken from Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow.
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