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Origin of spellbound

First recorded in 1790–1800; spell2 + -bound1


verb (used with object), spell·bound, spell·bind·ing.
  1. to hold or bind by or as if by a spell; enchant; entrance; fascinate.

Origin of spellbind

1800–10; spell2 + bind, deduced from spellbound
Related formsspell·bind·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for spellbound


  1. having one's attention held as though one is bound by a spella spellbound audience


verb -binds, -binding or -bound
  1. (tr) to cause to be spellbound; entrance or enthral
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 spellbound

1799, from spell (n.) + bound (adj.1) "fastened," past participle of bind (v.).



1808, from spell (n.) + bind. Related: Spellbinding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper