[ lig-uh-cher, -choor ]
See synonyms for ligature on
  1. the act of binding or tying up: The ligature of the artery was done with skill.

  2. anything that serves for binding or tying up, as a band, bandage, or cord.

  1. a tie or bond: the ligature of mutual need that bound them together.

  2. Printing, Orthography. a stroke or bar connecting two letters.

  3. Printing. a character or type combining two or more letters, as and æ.

  4. Music.

    • a slur.

    • a group of notes connected by a slur.

    • a metal band for securing the reed of a clarinet or saxophone to the mouthpiece.

  5. Surgery. a thread or wire for constriction of blood vessels or for removing tumors by strangulation.

verb (used with object),lig·a·tured, lig·a·tur·ing.
  1. to bind with a ligature; tie up; ligate.

Origin of ligature

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

Other words from ligature

  • un·lig·a·tured, adjective

Words Nearby ligature Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ligature in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ligature


/ (ˈlɪɡətʃə, -ˌtʃʊə) /

  1. the act of binding or tying up

  2. something used to bind

  1. a link, bond, or tie

  2. surgery a thread or wire for tying around a vessel, duct, etc, as for constricting the flow of blood to a part

  3. printing a character of two or more joined letters, such as, fl, ffi, ffl

  4. music

    • a slur or the group of notes connected by it

    • (in plainsong notation) a symbol indicating two or more notes grouped together

  1. (tr) to bind with a ligature; ligate

Origin of 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