Definition of bondage in English:

bondage

noun

  • 1The state of being a slave:

    ‘the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt's bondage’
    figurative ‘the bondage of drug addiction’
    • ‘By the time England entered the African slave trade, the European bondage of non-European peoples was already well established.’
    • ‘Trapped in the vicious cycle of bondage and slavery, they have nowhere to go and are thrust into a life which reduces them to nothing but robots.’
    • ‘His life seems set towards one of idyllic village life and oppressive bondage to his masters.’
    • ‘The nature of slavery and the responses of slave women to their bondage must also be considered.’
    • ‘Slaves resisted their bondage in a variety of ways.’
    • ‘From time immemorial slaves have manifested a desire to escape their bondage.’
    • ‘The custom is derived from the days of slavery in the United States when a slave owner often would break the middle finger of a slave's hand to indicate bondage.’
    • ‘Slaves held in bondage are forced into labor and too often treated inhumanely.’
    • ‘Two hundred years ago, following a slave uprising, Haiti threw off the yoke of bondage to become a free black state and a haven for escaped African slaves.’
    • ‘In India and other parts of Asia, some people are outright slaves, others in debt bondage that ties them to a particular landlord.’
    • ‘Buddha left home to get supreme security from bondage.’
    • ‘Furthermore, his 1839 statement reflected a greater concern about the conscience of the slave owner than the physical bondage of the slave.’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century, juries as far South as Georgia refused to convict whites who assisted slaves escaping from bondage.’
    • ‘Although the majority of slaves lived and died in bondage, the intelligent and enterprising slave lived in the hope of eventually buying his freedom.’
    • ‘He noted that it was significant that after four centuries of bondage the descendants of slaves have become a free and independent people.’
    • ‘Bonded labour or debt bondage is probably the least known form of slavery today.’
    • ‘The freed slaves were held in ‘debt bondage,’ with the landlord forcing them to work for no wages and with no days off to repay the purchase of tools.’
    • ‘Growing Up in Slavery presents young readers with intense, autobiographical stories of 10 slaves as they recall their early lives in bondage.’
    • ‘The novels aptly illustrate why escape plans were fraught with failure and why some slaves chose to remain in bondage.’
    • ‘In 1860, on the verge of war, four million black slaves were held in bondage across the South.’
    slavery, enslavement, servitude, subjugation, subjection, oppression, domination, exploitation, persecution
    captivity, imprisonment, incarceration, confinement, detention
    bonds, chains, fetters, shackles, restraints, yoke
    thraldom, thrall
    serfdom, vassalage
    enthralment, duress
    View synonyms
  • 2Sexual practice that involves the tying up or restraining of one partner.

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Latin bondagium, from Middle English bond ‘serf’ (earlier ‘peasant, householder’), from Old Norse bóndi tiller of the soil, based on búa dwell; influenced in sense by bond.

Pronunciation:

bondage

/ˈbɒndɪdʒ/