be bound to

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Other Idioms and Phrases with be bound to (2 of 2)

bound to, be

Be certain or destined to; also, be determined or resolved to. For example, We are bound to hear from them soon, or No matter what they say, she is bound to run for mayor. This usage is derived from the older sense of bound as “obliged.” [Mid-1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


What does be bound to mean?

Be bound to is a phrase that means something is certain to happen or is destined to be true, as in There are bound to be useful books at the library. In other words, it is a near guarantee that there will be useful books at the library (it’s what libraries are for, after all).

Be bound to can also mean someone is determined to do something, as in Despite everyone telling him it was a bad idea, Jack was bound to chase after that bear. That is, Jack is resolved to chase after the bear. (Jack should really rethink that idea.)

Example: Our cat is bound to try to eat the goldfish unless we keep an eye on her.

Where does be bound to come from?

The first records of the phrase be bound to come from around 1550, although it is possible the phrase was used even earlier. The modern meaning of be bound to comes from an older sense of the word bound, meaning “obliged” or “compelled.”

Be bound to is used to express a lot of confidence in a future event or outcome. You wouldn’t use it if you were guessing or were unsure about what will happen. Similarly, be bound to is used to describe a person who is filled with conviction and dedication rather than a person who is hesitant or undecided.

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How is be bound to used in real life?

Be bound to is a phrase most frequently used to state that something is definitely going to happen.

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Is be bound to used correctly in the following sentence?

It was bound to rain today, so I brought an umbrella just in case.