Definition of bondage in English:

bondage

noun

mass noun
  • 1The state of being a slave.

    ‘the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt's bondage’
    figurative ‘the bondage of drug addiction’
    • ‘Growing Up in Slavery presents young readers with intense, autobiographical stories of 10 slaves as they recall their early lives in bondage.’
    • ‘By the time England entered the African slave trade, the European bondage of non-European peoples was already well established.’
    • ‘In India and other parts of Asia, some people are outright slaves, others in debt bondage that ties them to a particular landlord.’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century, juries as far South as Georgia refused to convict whites who assisted slaves escaping from bondage.’
    • ‘The nature of slavery and the responses of slave women to their bondage must also be considered.’
    • ‘The novels aptly illustrate why escape plans were fraught with failure and why some slaves chose to remain in bondage.’
    • ‘From time immemorial slaves have manifested a desire to escape their bondage.’
    • ‘Furthermore, his 1839 statement reflected a greater concern about the conscience of the slave owner than the physical bondage of the slave.’
    • ‘Although the majority of slaves lived and died in bondage, the intelligent and enterprising slave lived in the hope of eventually buying his freedom.’
    • ‘Slaves resisted their bondage in a variety of ways.’
    • ‘His life seems set towards one of idyllic village life and oppressive bondage to his masters.’
    • ‘In 1860, on the verge of war, four million black slaves were held in bondage across the South.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bonded labour or debt bondage is probably the least known form of slavery today.’
    • ‘Buddha left home to get supreme security from bondage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He noted that it was significant that after four centuries of bondage the descendants of slaves have become a free and independent people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Slaves held in bondage are forced into labor and too often treated inhumanely.’
    slavery, enslavement, servitude, subjugation, subjection, oppression, domination, exploitation, persecution
    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/