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