Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

indenture

[in-den-cher]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a deed or agreement executed in two or more copies with edges correspondingly indented as a means of identification.
  2. any deed, written contract, or sealed agreement.
  3. a contract by which a person, as an apprentice, is bound to service.
  4. any official or formal list, certificate, etc., authenticated for use as a voucher or the like.
  5. the formal agreement between a group of bondholders and the debtor as to the terms of the debt.
  6. indentation.
Show More
verb (used with object), in·den·tured, in·den·tur·ing.
  1. to bind by indenture, as an apprentice.
  2. Archaic. to make a depression in; wrinkle; furrow.
Show More

Origin of indenture

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word indentūra. See indent1, -ure
Related formsin·den·ture·ship, nounun·in·den·tured, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indentured

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He was indentured to him, as we have seen, so that it was difficult for him to get away.

    The Printer Boy.

    William M. Thayer

  • The young fellows are indentured by the head office and sent to school, so to speak.

    The Huntress

    Hulbert Footner

  • But he had at this place an overseer and some indentured laborers.

  • He felt all the more sorry for the girl because misfortune had, in a sense, indentured her to them.

    Ethan Frome

    Edith Wharton

  • He received a thorough training in the trade to which he was indentured.

    Boy Labour and Apprenticeship

    Reginald Arthur Bray


British Dictionary definitions for indentured

indenture

noun
  1. any deed, contract, or sealed agreement between two or more parties
  2. (formerly) a deed drawn up in duplicate, each part having correspondingly indented edges for identification and security
  3. (often plural) a contract between an apprentice and his master
  4. a formal or official list or certificate authenticated for use as a voucher, etc
  5. a less common word for indentation
Show More
verb
  1. (intr) to enter into an agreement by indenture
  2. (tr) to bind (an apprentice, servant, etc) by indenture
  3. (tr) obsolete to indent or wrinkle
Show More
Derived Formsindentureship, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for indentured

adj.

"bound by indenture," 1757, past participle adjective from indenture (v.).

Show More

indenture

n.

"contract for services," late 14c., from Anglo-French endenture, Old French endenteure "indentation," from endenter (see indent). Such contracts (especially between master craftsmen and apprentices) were written in full identical versions on a sheet of parchment, which was then cut apart in a zigzag, or "notched" line. Each party took one, and the genuineness of a document of indenture could be proved by juxtaposition with its counterpart. As a verb, 1650s, from the noun.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper