hide·​bound | \ ˈhīd-ˌbau̇nd How to pronounce hidebound (audio) \

Definition of hidebound

1 of a domestic animal : having a dry skin lacking in pliancy and adhering closely to the underlying flesh
2 : having an inflexible or ultraconservative character

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Did You Know?

Hidebound has its origins in agriculture. The word, which appeared in English as hyde bounde in the 16th century, originally described cattle that, due to illness or poor feeding, had skin that clung to the skeleton and could not be pinched, loosened, or worked with the fingers. Hidebound has also been applied to humans - both literally, to describe people with tight skin, and figuratively. In its earliest figurative usage, hidebound meant "stingy" or "miserly." That sense has since fallen out of use, but a second figurative usage, describing people who are rigid or unyielding in their actions or beliefs, lives on in our language today.

Examples of hidebound in a Sentence

the hidebound innkeeper refused to see the need for a Web site, insisting that the inn had done without one for over 150 years

Recent Examples on the Web

Robuchon was known for constant innovation and playfulness in the kitchen, qualities that made him a revelation to the hidebound world of French cuisine. Sarah Dilorenzo, The Seattle Times, "Michelin-starred French master chef Joel Robuchon dies at 73," 6 Aug. 2018 After bursting on the scene in the 2000s, their careers coincided with the infiltration of performance metrics and high-level sports science into the hidebound world of international soccer. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: Still Soccer’s Supreme Leaders," 12 June 2018 Created after 9/11 to wrangle the hidebound agencies that had missed the al-Qaeda threat, the Director of National Intelligence is infamous for having much responsibility but little authority. Massimo Calabresi, Time, "Intelligence Director Dan Coats Is the Mild-Mannered Force the Trump Administration Needs," 22 May 2018 The new format, which will be unveiled to the public on Tuesday, has sparked a debate within the hidebound world of department stores, where change comes at a glacial pace. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Saks Bumps Its Beauty Counter Off Coveted Ground Floor," 18 May 2018 This gave pause to hidebound, conservative Catholics who were fine with the exclusionary stances the church was taking. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Pope Francis: A Man of His Word' is intriguing but shallow," 17 May 2018 So Meghan Markle, newly engaged to Prince Harry, might be giving up her career as a successful actress to marry into a hidebound — and in many ways meaningless and anachronistic — institution. Constance Grady, Vox, "13 questions about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s big day, asked and answered.," 11 May 2018 The decision was seen by some observers as a daring bid by a hidebound cultural establishment to keep up with the times. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "After Nobel prize falls to #MeToo, what's next for literature's highest honor?," 7 May 2018 The Army is a hidebound organization that prizes conformity, and McMaster’s lustrous public profile has not always translated into professional advancement. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "McMaster and Commander," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hidebound.' 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 hidebound

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hidebound

The first known use of hidebound was in 1603

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More Definitions for hidebound



English Language Learners Definition of hidebound

disapproving : not willing to accept new or different ideas


hide·​bound | \ ˈhīd-ˌbau̇nd How to pronounce hidebound (audio) \

Medical Definition of hidebound

1 : having a dry skin lacking in pliancy and adhering closely to the underlying flesh used of domestic animals
2 : having scleroderma used of human beings

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More from Merriam-Webster on hidebound

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hidebound

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hidebound

Spanish Central: Translation of hidebound

Nglish: Translation of hidebound for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hidebound

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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