Definition of hidebound in US English:



  • Unwilling or unable to change because of tradition or convention.

    ‘you are hidebound by your petty laws’
    • ‘It would stimulate overdue reform of hidebound institutions, whether regulatory bodies or royal colleges.’
    • ‘There can be no sport more regulated, and no sport more hidebound by an inflexible adherence to the rule book.’
    • ‘There's no magic formula that will transform a hidebound organization into one eager to adopt the latest software technology.’
    • ‘It is nothing short of a revolution for a body seen by its critics as hidebound and conservative with a small ‘c’.’
    • ‘Even Germany, the Continent's largest and most hidebound economy, may soon see reform.’
    • ‘Far too many people adhere to the notion that the Army cannot transform from within, as we are too hidebound, too wedded to orthodoxy.’
    • ‘This is almost radical stuff for a hidebound bureaucracy.’
    • ‘From this it is but a short step to viewing those who oppose liberal ideas or policies as hidebound traditionalists, bigots, or ignoramuses.’
    • ‘There are pros and cons to that: a chief constable who has been in post too long can become hidebound and resistant to change, but changing leaders too often can lead to discontinuity.’
    • ‘He confirms the privately expressed belief of many ministers that they are battling against a civil service hidebound by more than a century of tradition.’
    • ‘The depressing part was that the hidebound attitudes of the British officer class haven't changed much in more than 80 years.’
    • ‘Martha, Mary and their friends at the Women's Centre are trying to do their bit for the feminist movement but are usually thwarted by the intransigence of conventional outlooks and hidebound attitudes to gender.’
    • ‘The steps he took might appear simple and obvious in hindsight, but they were far from easy at a hidebound institution seemingly intent on writing its own obituary.’
    • ‘Educators in Ghana are aware that they must rid universities of hidebound thinking to produce more technically literate graduates who produce more for employers and Ghana's economy.’
    • ‘He needed to transform the entrenched corporate culture, which had become hidebound and overly bureaucratic.’
    • ‘In rural Sicily, where local Catholic traditions have remained stronger, women are more hidebound by traditional mores regarding the sexes.’
    • ‘But there is more to the backlash than hidebound resistance to change.’
    • ‘This is the kind of step that is quite often made in science by a junior researcher, not yet hidebound by tradition.’
    • ‘It's as if we are back in that newspaper office of 10 years ago, when Riddoch, unschooled in the resistant bureaucracy of getting out a daily paper, tried to change hidebound attitudes too quickly for comfort.’
    • ‘It needs someone immediately capable of cutting through the company's notoriously intractable bureaucracy and hidebound engineering culture.’
    conservative, reactionary, conventional, orthodox, fundamentalist, diehard, hard-line, dyed-in-the-wool, ultra-conservative, fixed in one's views, set in one's opinions, set in one's ways
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Mid 16th century (as a noun denoting a malnourished condition of cattle): from hide + bound. The earliest sense of the adjective (referring to cattle) was extended to emaciated human beings, and then applied figuratively in the sense ‘narrow in outlook’.