[lig-uh-cher, -choo r]


verb (used with object), lig·a·tured, lig·a·tur·ing.

to bind with a ligature; tie up; ligate.

Nearby words

  1. ligand,
  2. ligase,
  3. ligate,
  4. ligation,
  5. ligative,
  6. ligeance,
  7. liger,
  8. ligeti,
  9. ligeti, györgy,
  10. light

Origin of ligature

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word ligātūra. See ligate, -ure

Related formsun·lig·a·tured, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ligature

British Dictionary definitions for ligature



the act of binding or tying up
something used to bind
a link, bond, or tie
surgery a thread or wire for tying around a vessel, duct, etc, as for constricting the flow of blood to a part
printing a character of two or more joined letters, such as, fl, ffi, ffl
  1. a slur or the group of notes connected by it
  2. (in plainsong notation) a symbol indicating two or more notes grouped together


(tr) to bind with a ligature; ligate

Word Origin for ligature

C14: from Late Latin ligātūra, ultimately from Latin ligāre to bind

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 ligature



c.1400, "something used in tying or binding," from Middle French ligature (14c.), from Late Latin ligatura "a band," from Latin ligatus, past participle of ligare "to bind" (see ligament). In musical notation from 1590s; of letters joined in printing or writing from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for ligature


[lĭgə-chur′, -chər]


The act of tying or binding.
A cord, wire, or bandage used in surgery to close vessels or tie off ducts.
A thread, wire, or cord used in surgery to close vessels or tie off ducts.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.