slavery or involuntary servitude; serfdom.
the state of being bound by or subjected to some external power or control.
the state or practice of being physically restrained, as by being tied up, chained, or put in handcuffs, for sexual gratification.
Early English Law. personal subjection to the control of a superior; villeinage.

Origin of bondage

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English word from Anglo-Latin word bondagium. See bond2, -age

Synonyms for bondage

1. captivity, restraint; prison. See slavery. 2. thralldom, captivity, confinement, imprisonment. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bondages



slavery or serfdom; servitude
Also called: villeinage (in medieval Europe) the condition and status of unfree peasants who provided labour and other services for their lord in return for holdings of land
a sexual practice in which one partner is physically bound
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 bondages



c.1300, "condition of a serf or slave," from Anglo-Latin bondagium, from Middle English bond "a serf, tenant farmer," from Old English bonda "householder," from Old Norse boandi "free-born farmer," noun use of present participle of boa "dwell, prepare, inhabit," from PIE *bhow-, from root *bheue- "to be, exist, dwell" (see be). Meaning in English changed by influence of bond. The sexual sado-masochism sense is recorded by 1966.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper