hidebound

adjective

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

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 website, insisting that the inn had done without one for over 150 years
Recent Examples on the Web This body was set up in the wake of the COVID pandemic and tasked with breaking down the hidebound bureaucracy and other structural factors that had hindered the digitalization of Japan’s administrative systems. Tom Hawking, Popular Science, 3 July 2024 In recent decades, the United States has earned a reputation as the most dynamic of the advanced economies, far more innovative than Europe, far less hidebound than Japan. Ruchir Sharma, Foreign Affairs, 15 Feb. 2016 The band members’ experience spans black/thrash to grindcore and progressive death, lending them a certain comfort with experimentation that’s rare within the confines of a traditionally more hidebound genre (spot the vintage Metallica parts!). Kim Kelly, SPIN, 18 June 2024 The production, which was at the Park Avenue Armory earlier this season, has arrived at the St. James Theatre in the role of deus ex machina, rescuing Broadway from its hidebound habits. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for hidebound 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hidebound.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hidebound was in 1603

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Dictionary Entries Near hidebound

Cite this Entry

“Hidebound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hidebound. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

hidebound

adjective
hide·​bound -ˌbau̇nd How to pronounce hidebound (audio)
1
: having a dry skin adhering closely to the underlying flesh
a hidebound horse
2
: stubbornly unwilling to change

Medical Definition

hidebound

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

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