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[bond-muh n]
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noun, plural bond·men.
  1. a male slave.
  2. a man bound to service without wages.
  3. Old English Law. a villein or other unfree tenant.
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Also bondsman.

Origin of bondman

First recorded in 1200–50, bondman is from the Middle English word bonde man. See bond2, man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for bondman

Historical Examples

  • A bondman's change from the tyranny of another to the despotism of himself.

    The Devil's Dictionary

    Ambrose Bierce

  • I came a freeman into prison; I will not go forth a bondman.

  • You had proof of my faith in you when I became your bondman.

    The Weathercock

    George Manville Fenn

  • The blows were the stripes which the master inflicts upon his bondman.

    Watch and Wait

    Oliver Optic

  • Henceforth he was the bondman of grace, the celebrant of grace.

Word Origin and History for bondman


mid-13c., "husband, husbandman," from Middle English bond (see bondage) + man (n.). Later, "man in bondage, slave" (mid-14c.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper