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

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

Antonyms

freedom, liberty

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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

Dead Indians to the left and African Americans to the right in bondage. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "School board faces mural dilemma: free speech or racial justice," 2 July 2019 August’s qualities as a sympathizer to those in bondage leave him fit to bear a responsibility that never belonged to Molotschna’s women. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Miriam Toews’s Quiet Revolution," 26 June 2019 As wage slavery was conflated with an emerging trope of white slavery, bondage was rewritten as a universal condition. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Lehman Trilogy’ and Wall Street’s Debt to Slavery," 11 June 2019 During the campaigns into Maryland and Pennsylvania, Lee’s troops even kidnapped free blacks and transported them south into bondage. Drew Gilpin Faust, WSJ, "‘The War for the Common Soldier’ and ‘The Calculus of Violence’ Review: Billy Yank and Johnny Reb," 7 Dec. 2018 The VMAs red carpet boasts historic moments like Madonna’s white corset and tutu in 1984, Cindy Crawford’s bondage-style Versace look in 1992, and Lady Gaga’s meat dress in 2010. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "VMAs 2018: Best-Dressed Stars on the Red Carpet," 20 Aug. 2018 Spanking, bondage, choking, being ordered around—all of it turned me on. Rachel Kramer Bussel, SELF, "I Suddenly Stopped Being Kinky and I’m Not Sure Why," 1 Mar. 2019 Those who practice bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism (B.D.S.M.) have rules for protecting boundaries, safety and consent. New York Times, "The Boundary Between Abuse and B.D.S.M.," 23 May 2018 The story brought new attention to the world of kink that’s often known as BDSM — standing for variations of bondage, dominance, submission and masochism. Washington Post, "‘Kink community’ angry at New York attorney general comments," 10 May 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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near bondage

Bon, Cape

bonce

bond

bondage

bondager

bondar

bond clay

Statistics for bondage

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bondage

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

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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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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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