v. bound (bound), bind·ing, binds
a. To tie or secure, as with a rope or cord.
b. To hold or restrain by tying with rope or bonds: bound the prisoner.
a. To fasten or wrap by encircling, as with a belt or ribbon: a dress bound with a sash.
b. To bandage: bound up their wounds.
a. To compel, constrain, or unite: bound by a deep sense of duty; bound by a common interest in sports.
b. To make certain or irrevocable: bind the deal with a down payment.
c. Law To place under legal obligation.
d. To apprentice or indenture: was bound out as a servant.
4. Chemistry To combine with, form a chemical bond with, or be taken up by, as an enzyme with its substrate.
a. To cause to cohere or stick together in a mass: Bind the dry ingredients with milk and eggs.
b. To constipate.
6. To enclose and fasten (the pages of a book or other printed material) between covers.
7. To furnish with an edge or border for protection, reinforcement, or ornamentation.
1. To tie up or fasten something.
2. To stick or become stuck: applied a lubricant to keep the moving parts from binding.
3. To be uncomfortably tight or restricting, as clothes.
4. To become compact or solid; cohere.
5. To be compelling, constraining, or unifying: moved to her home town because of the ties that bind.
6. Chemistry To combine chemically or form a chemical bond.
a. The act of binding.
b. The state of being bound.
c. Something that binds.
d. A place where something binds: a bind halfway up the seam of the skirt.
2. Informal A difficult, restrictive, or unresolvable situation: found themselves in a bind when their car broke down.
3. Music A tie, slur, or brace.
To cast off in knitting.
bind over Law
To hold under legal obligation, as to bind over a party accused of crime to appear before a grand jury or in a particular court.
[Middle English binden, from Old English bindan; see bhendh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.