verb (used with object), in·den·tured, in·den·tur·ing.

to bind by indenture, as an apprentice.
Archaic. to make a depression in; wrinkle; furrow.

Origin of indenture

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word indentūra. See indent1, -ure
Related formsin·den·ture·ship, nounun·in·den·tured, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for indenture

compact, deed, contract, arrangement

Examples from the Web for indenture

Historical Examples of indenture

  • But the passage which, for me, is most precious is that Apprentice's "Indenture."

    Visions and Revisions

    John Cowper Powys

  • It is the same in civil law with an indenture at the common law.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • I have broken my indenture, and I think of running the country.'

    The Proverbs of Scotland

    Alexander Hislop

  • A secret renewal of the indenture was executed simultaneously.

    Benjamin Franklin

    John Torrey Morse, Jr.

  • And in our own country every white apprentice is, in his indenture, called a servant.

British Dictionary definitions for indenture



any deed, contract, or sealed agreement between two or more parties
(formerly) a deed drawn up in duplicate, each part having correspondingly indented edges for identification and security
(often plural) a contract between an apprentice and his master
a formal or official list or certificate authenticated for use as a voucher, etc
a less common word for indentation


(intr) to enter into an agreement by indenture
(tr) to bind (an apprentice, servant, etc) by indenture
(tr) obsolete to indent or wrinkle
Derived Formsindentureship, noun
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 indenture

"contract for services," late 14c., from Anglo-French endenture, Old French endenteure "indentation," from endenter (see indent). Such contracts (especially between master craftsmen and apprentices) were written in full identical versions on a sheet of parchment, which was then cut apart in a zigzag, or "notched" line. Each party took one, and the genuineness of a document of indenture could be proved by juxtaposition with its counterpart. As a verb, 1650s, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper