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 Horseradish is traditionally symbolic of the bitterness of Jews’ time in bondage. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Food for the soul: Traditional culinary rituals and symbols at the core of religious holidays," 4 Apr. 2021 OnlyFans fetish models at warehouse techno parties and private clubs for bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism, or BDSM, across downtown and Hollywood. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Goth nightclub known for rituals and secrecy has closed amid sexual misconduct claims," 21 Mar. 2021 Once slaves were emancipated from colonial bondage in the 1800s, Jamaicans were eager to convert the sound colonial education of the pre- and post-independence years into uncompromising poetry and prose. Travel + Leisure, "Jamaica’s Rich Literary Legacy Is Finally Getting the Global Recognition It Deserves," 14 Mar. 2021 Tubman spent nearly three decades in bondage before escaping the inhumanity of slavery. Donna M. Owens, Essence, "ESSENCE Exclusive: Meet One of Harriet Tubman’s Relatives," 12 Mar. 2021 Smith was born enslaved in New York City, in 1813, to Lavinia Smith, a woman born in Charleston, South Carolina, who historians believe was brought to New York in bondage. Bryan Greene, Smithsonian Magazine, "America’s First Black Physician Sought to Heal a Nation’s Persistent Illness," 26 Feb. 2021 Black mutual aid efforts, in particular, date back to the 1700s, when enslaved Americans pooled their money to buy each other's freedom from bondage. Aaron Morrison, USA TODAY, "BLM launches Survival Fund with $1,000 grants for people struggling amid pandemic," 26 Feb. 2021 Black mutual aid efforts, in particular, date back to the 1700s, when enslaved Americans pooled their money to buy each other’s freedom from bondage. Aaron Morrison, The Christian Science Monitor, "Still no pandemic aid? BLM launches Survival Fund to fill gaps.," 25 Feb. 2021 Fairfax touts his family’s legacy of being freed from bondage in the late 1700s to highlight the need for social equity. Washington Post, "How blue is Trump’s shadow in Virginia? This year’s governor’s race is already shaping up as a key barometer.," 22 Feb. 2021

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

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bondage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bondage. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for bondage

bondage

noun

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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Comments on bondage

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