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2017 Word of the Year

unbound

[uhn-bound] /ʌnˈbaʊnd/
verb
1.
simple past tense and past participle of unbind.
adjective
2.
not bound, as a book.
3.
free; not attached, as by a chemical bond:
unbound electrons.
Origin of unbound
900
before 900; (adj.) Middle English unbounde, unbunden, Old English unbunden; see un-1, bound1
Can be confused
unbound, unbounded.

unbind

[uhn-bahynd] /ʌnˈbaɪnd/
verb (used with object), unbound, unbinding.
1.
to release from bonds or restraint, as a prisoner; free.
2.
to unfasten or loose, as a bond or tie.
Origin
before 950; Middle English unbinden, Old English unbindan; cognate with German entbinden. See un-2, bind
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unbound
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He unbound his crimson silk cloth and whisked it about in the water to wash it.

  • She unbound and bound him in sections, as it were; he watching her with a morose smile.

  • Her glowing copper hair, all unbound, fell about her shoulders like a mantle.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • My unbound books, and all my tracts and pamphlets, are to be tied up with pink tape.

    "Stops"

    Paul Allardyce
  • They unbound him and took him with them in their wanderings for three years.

  • Mayall was unbound—his mind became calm, his resolution was formed.

    The Forest King Hervey Keyes
  • She sat up, dry-eyed, unbound her hair, flung from her the crumpled neglige.

    Athalie Robert W. Chambers
  • Her hair, all unbound, fell around her in shifting masses like smoke.

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
British Dictionary definitions for unbound

unbound

/ʌnˈbaʊnd/
verb
1.
the past tense and past participle of unbind
adjective
2.
(of a book) not bound within a cover
3.
not restrained or tied down by bonds
4.
(of a morpheme) able to form a word by itself; free

unbind

/ʌnˈbaɪnd/
verb (transitive) -binds, -binding, -bound
1.
to set free from restraining bonds or chains; release
2.
to unfasten or make loose (a bond, tie, etc)
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
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Word Origin and History for unbound

unbind

v.

Old English unbindan, "to free from binding," from un- (2) + bind (v.). Cf. German entbinden, Dutch ontbinden. Literal and figurative senses both present in Old English.

Suæ huæt ðu unbindes ofer eorðu bið unbunden in heofnum. [Lindisfarne Gospels, Matt. xvi:19]
Unbound is from Old English unbunden, in literal sense. Figurative sense first attested late 14c.; of books from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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