bondage

noun
bond·​age | \ ˈbän-dij \

Definition of bondage

1 : the tenure or service of a villein, serf, or slave
2 : a state of being bound usually by compulsion (as of law or mastery): such as
b : servitude or subjugation to a controlling person or force young people in bondage to drugs
3 : sadomasochistic sexual practices involving the physical restraint of one partner

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for bondage

Synonyms

enslavement, servility, servitude, slavery, thrall, thralldom (or thraldom), yoke

Antonyms

freedom, liberty

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of bondage in a Sentence

a population held in bondage the Civil War ended over 200 years of bondage for black Africans in America

Recent Examples on the Web

Sometimes, the drag star posts are out of a horror movie: Think, a cheerful Ronald McDonald clown now with saber teeth, his yellow costume shredded into a half-shirt for a bondage flair. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Charity Kase Is the London Drag Star Whipping Up Fantastical Looks," 5 Sep. 2018 Fear and discomfort around bondage and kink typically come out of misunderstanding what BDSM is—and is not. Gigi Engle, SELF, "5 Ways to Ease Your Partner Into Trying Bondage and Kink," 28 Sep. 2018 Sora also included voyeur footage, bondage videos, and rape scenes. Shawn Musgrave, The Verge, "How ICE used an obscure rule to pursue the owners of a Korean porn site," 27 Sep. 2018 The closet is segmented into two racks—suits and bondage. Vogue, "Christine and the Queens Releases a New Video for “5 Dollars,” and the Vibe Is “American Gigolo With a Twist”," 16 Aug. 2018 Pregnant Slick Woods dancing down the runway in bondage! Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Models in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty New York Fashion Week 2018 Show Wore Fenty Beauty Makeup," 13 Sep. 2018 Curry, who like Markle's mother has African ancestors who were slaves in the U.S., said that even during their time of bondage, love helped those in captivity persevere. Gregory Katz And David Rising, Fox News, "Fiery US bishop brings American flair to royal wedding," 19 May 2018 Up until now, we've been fed a narrative that puts Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) at the center of Arnold, and then Ford's (Anthony Hopkins) plan to help the hosts liberate themselves from digital bondage. refinery29.com, "Westworld Season 2, Episode 8: Forget What You Think You Know," 11 June 2018 But within a few years, the Griers would become early Underground Railroad conductors, joining with fellow pioneers and other allies to confront the growing tyranny of bondage and injustice. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Unheralded Pioneers of 19th-Century America Were Free African-American Families," 19 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of bondage

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bondage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from bonde customary tenant, from Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bondage

Dictionary Entries near bondage

Bon, Cape

bonce

bond

bondage

bondager

bondar

bond clay

Statistics for bondage

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bondage

The first known use of bondage was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bondage

bondage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bondage

: the state of being a slave

: sexual activity that involves tying a person up for pleasure

bondage

noun
bond·​age | \ ˈbän-dij \

Kids Definition of bondage

: the state of being a slave

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bondage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bondage

Spanish Central: Translation of bondage

Nglish: Translation of bondage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bondage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bondage

What made you want to look up bondage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!