bondage

Bondage is the state of being bound, like an enslaved person. If you're in handcuffs, you're in bondage.

The word bondage has meant "condition of a serf or slave" since the 1300s, the same time the word bond came along to mean "anything that binds." Bondage originated around the time Dante was writing The Inferno, in which Satan flaps his wings to try and break free of bondage, as he's stuck in ice up to his chest.

Definitions of bondage
  1. noun
    the state of being under the control of another person
    synonyms: slavery, thraldom, thrall, thralldom
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    bonded labor
    a practice in which employers give high-interest loans to workers whose entire families then labor at low wages to pay off the debt; the practice is illegal in the United States
    servitude
    state of subjection to an owner or master or forced labor imposed as punishment
    serfdom, serfhood, vassalage
    the state of a serf
    villainage, villeinage
    the legal status or condition of servitude of a villein or feudal serf
    type of:
    subjection, subjugation
    forced submission to control by others
  2. noun
    sexual practice that involves physically restraining (by cords or handcuffs) one of the partners
    see moresee less
    type of:
    sex, sex activity, sexual activity, sexual practice
    activities associated with sexual intercourse
  3. noun
    the state of being under the control of a force or influence or abstract power
    “he was in bondage to fear:”
    “he sought release from his bondage to Satan”
    “a self freed from the bondage of time”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    subjection, subjugation
    forced submission to control by others
Word Family