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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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 website, insisting that the inn had done without one for over 150 years
Recent Examples on the Web But the moment also coincided with a creative renaissance in the hidebound late-night format. Meredith Blakestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2022 That’s most likely a reflection of my own hidebound prejudice that our universe is somehow unique and singular and not simply one of many. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, 16 July 2022 The company’s fast growth was the stuff of hyperventilating headlines and CEO envy, especially among media company leaders who wanted to shed their hidebound reputations and present themselves as digital visionaries. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, 11 July 2022 That’s amazing to see someone quite so hidebound change in that way—and through pleasure. Max Gao, Harper's BAZAAR, 22 June 2022 The problem, the publication concludes, is that governments and companies are often hidebound, reluctant to adopt the new analytical methods, and that the political will to act on what the analysis is showing is often lacking. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 7 June 2022 Elizabeth was too young, too hidebound, to develop any passion projects before the death of her father, George VI, in February, 1952. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2022 It’s also, of course, anomalous, freakish, the kind of novelty that plays into a narrative urge on the part of certain hidebound intellectuals to blame new media for the worst impulses of humanity. Jason Kehe, Wired, 9 Mar. 2022 On Sunday night, that falling royal blue and yellow confetti validated the Rams’ iconoclastic team-building approach that upended a hidebound league. New York Times, 13 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of hidebound

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of hidebound was in 1603

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hidebound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hidebound. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hidebound


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

More from Merriam-Webster on hidebound

Nglish: Translation of hidebound for Spanish Speakers


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