beholden

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adjective be·hold·en \ bi-ˈhōl-dən , bē- \

Definition of beholden

:being under obligation for a favor or gift :indebted
  • I'm beholden to you

beholden was our Word of the Day on 08/21/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of beholden in a Sentence

  1. not wanting to be beholden to anyone, he insisted on paying his own way

Recent Examples of beholden from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beholden.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Have you ever found yourself under obligation to someone else for a gift or favor? It's a common experience, and, not surprisingly, many of the words describing this condition have been part of the English language for centuries. "Beholden" was first recorded in writing in the 14th century, in the poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." "Indebted," which entered English through Anglo-French, is even older, first appearing in the 13th century. English speakers in the 14th century would also have had another synonym of "beholden" to choose from, a now-obsolete sense of "bounden," which today means "made obligatory" or "binding."

Origin and Etymology of beholden

Middle English, from past participle of beholden

beholden Synonyms

Synonyms
bounden [archaic], indebted, obligated, obliged
Related Words
appreciative, grateful, thankful


BEHOLDEN Defined for Kids

beholden

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adjective be·hold·en \ bi-ˈhol-dən \

Definition of beholden for Students

:owing the return of a gift or favor
  • I'm not beholden to anyone for my success.


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