bondage

noun
bond·​age | \ ˈbän-dij How to pronounce bondage (audio) \

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for bondage

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 Washington already seemed to have seen the handwriting on the wall regarding human bondage. David Holahan, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Franklin & Washington' an engaging history of the duo that launched America," 12 Feb. 2020 Some of the images, investigators said, showed acts of bondage involving toddlers. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "Franklin man accused of trafficking 'large volumes' of child porn sentenced to federal prison," 17 Jan. 2020 Dudley’s alleged connection to human bondage has fueled the drive to adopt a different name. BostonGlobe.com, "Whatever the result of Thursday’s vote, the Dudley name will linger elsewhere. Dudley Street stretches from Roxbury to Dorchester. The bus depot is still called Dudley Station. Pizza and subs can be ordered at the Dudley Square Grille.," 19 Dec. 2019 These are objects that address sexuality, but also connect with larger issues of literal human bondage. Los Angeles Times, "Artist Nayland Blake toys with race and queerness," 30 Sep. 2019 The extortionate smuggling fees leave many migrants in a state of bondage. Washington Post, "Vietnamese turn to traffickers to help chase fortunes abroad," 1 Nov. 2019 Her first return trip to Maryland was to orchestrate the rescue of her niece from a slave auction—the beginning of a sterling record of leading the enslaved out of bondage. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Time, "The True Story of Harriet Tubman Shows That Sometimes Running Is as Brave as Fighting," 1 Nov. 2019 Hiram Walker is born into bondage on a plantation with the gift of perfect photographic recall, and a near drowning floods him with images of his ancestors – and a yearning to escape. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Gift guide: 5 books for the fiction lovers on your holiday shopping list," 26 Nov. 2019 Lewis recounted the violent raid led by an African king known to capture his own people and sell them into bondage. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, "Johnson: Why do slave-ship Clotilda owner’s descendants still cower in silence?," 8 Oct. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for bondage

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bondage

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bondage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bondage. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for bondage

bondage

noun
How to pronounce bondage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bondage

formal + literary : the state of being a slave
: sexual activity that involves tying a person up for pleasure

bondage

noun
bond·​age | \ ˈbän-dij How to pronounce bondage (audio) \

Kids Definition of bondage

: the state of being a slave

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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

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