narrow and rigid in opinion; inflexible: a hidebound pedant.
oriented toward or confined to the past; extremely conservative: a hidebound philosopher.
(of a horse, cow, etc.) having the back and ribs bound tightly by the hide.

Origin of hidebound

First recorded in 1550–60; hide2 + -bound1
Related formshide·bound·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hidebound

Contemporary Examples of hidebound

Historical Examples of hidebound

  • I am thankful that Lady Hamilton and I are not hidebound by any such superstitions.

    The Admiral

    Douglas Sladen

  • Not depraved, certainly, unless you insist on judging it by a hidebound ethic.


    Milton Lesser

  • It is more free and easy, not so hidebound and overrun with hypocrisy.

  • He comes from a part of the country that's not so hidebound by caste as this country.

    Nobody's Child

    Elizabeth Dejeans

  • The Amphibs were, in their way, as hidebound—no pun intended—as the Land-walkers.

    Rastignac the Devil

    Philip Jos Farmer

British Dictionary definitions for hidebound



restricted by petty rules, a conservative attitude, etc
(of cattle, etc) having the skin closely attached to the flesh as a result of poor feeding
(of trees) having a very tight bark that impairs growth
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 hidebound

1550s, from hide (n.1) + past tense of bind (v.). Original reference is to emaciated cattle with skin sticking closely to backbones and ribs; metaphoric sense of "restricted by narrow attitudes" is first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper