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bound +‎ -en, the archaic past participle of bind.[1]



bounden (comparative more bounden, superlative most bounden)

  1. (dated) Now chiefly in the term bounden duty: made obligatory; binding.
    • 1549 March 7, Thomas Cranmer [et al.], compilers, “The Supper of the Lorde, and the Holy Communion, Commonly Called the Masse”, in The Booke of the Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacramentes, [], London: [] Edowardi Whitchurche [], OCLC 56485293, folio cxxix, recto:
      And although we be vnworthy (through our manyfolde ſynnes) to offre vnto thee any Sacryfice: Yet we beſeche thee to accepte thys our bounden duetie and ſeruice: and commande theſe our prayers and ſupplicacions, by the Miniſtery of thy holy Angels, to be brought vp into thy holy Tabernacle before the ſyght of thy dyuine maieſtie: []
    • 1616 March 7, Francis Bacon, “XCIX. This Letter was Written to the Earl of Buckingham, on the Same Day Sir Francis Bacon was Declared Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.”, in The Works of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St Alban, and Lord High Chancellor of England, volume IV, London: Printed for R. Gosling [] and are to be sold by Tho[mas] Osborne [], published 1730, OCLC 228675442, page 652:
      Your moſt bounden and devoted friend and ſervant of all men living, Fr. Bacon, C.S.
    • 1814 July 7, [Walter Scott], chapter XIX, in Waverley; [], volume III, Edinburgh:  [] James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, OCLC 270129598, page 282:
      That I wad wi' a' my heart; and mickle obliged to your honour for putting me in mind o' my bounden duty.
    • 1839, “The Antiquity of the Existing Liturgies”, in Tracts for the Times, volume II, number 63, London: Printed for J. G. F. & J. Rivington, []; Oxford: J. H. Parker, OCLC 6434718, page 9:
      Therefore, O Lord, we beseech Thee graciously to accept this oblation of our bounden service, from us and from thy whole family.
    • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, “Miss Crawley at Nurse”, in Vanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1848, OCLC 3174108, page 165:
      She imparted these stories gradually to Miss Crawley; gave her the whole benefit of them; felt it to be her bounden duty as a Christian woman and mother of a family to do so; had not the smallest remorse or compunction for the victim whom her tongue was immolating; nay, very likely thought her act was quite meritorious, and plumed herself upon her resolute manner of performing it.
    • 1918 February 25, “Pigs, Potatoes, and Peace”, in Agricultural Gazette, London: [Alexander K. Bruce?], OCLC 5589599, page 163, column 2:
      Further, the country is likely to require the meat and fat, during the coming food crisis, and it is for every farmer—everyone, in fact, who has the means of keeping pigs—to do so. There is no farm in the country where a sow, and a few other pigs too, cannot be kept profitably. To-day it is the bounden duty of every farmer to do so.
  2. (obsolete) Bound.
    • 1570, Margaret Ascham, Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster, foreword:
      ...and that the world should owe thanke therof to you, to whom my husband the authour of it was for good receyued of you, most dutiefully bounden.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. (transitive, archaic, rare) past participle of bind.
    Synonyms: bound, ybounden (obsolete)
    Antonym: unbounden (archaic, rare)
    1. (intransitive, archaic, specifically) To be obliged; to be under a duty or obligation (to do something).
      • c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii], page 11, column 2:
        I am much bounden to your Maieſty.
      • 1626, William Roper; S. W. Singer, The Mirrour of Vertue in Worldly Greatnes. Or The Life of Syr Thomas More Knight, sometime Lo. Chancellour of England, new revised and corrected edition, Paris [i.e. Saint-Omer]: [Printed at the English College Press], OCLC 837637215; republished as The Life of Sir Thomas More, by His Son-in-law, William Roper, Esq. [], Chiswick, London: From the press of C[harles] Whittingham, for R. Triphook, [], 1822, OCLC 54291031, page 36:
        In the concluding whereof Sir Thomas More so worthily handled himself, procuring in our league far more benefits unto this realm, than at that time, by the king or his council was thought possible to be compassed, that for his good service in that voyage, the king, when he after made him Lord Chancellor, caused the Duke of Norfolk openly to declare to the people, as you shall hear hereafter more at large, how much all England was bounden unto him.
      • 1963, William A. Owens, chapter 2, in Look to the River, New York, N.Y.: Atheneum; republished as Look to the River (Texas Tradition Series; 8), Fort Worth, Tex.: Texas Christian University Press, 1988, →ISBN, OCLC 933573, page 20:
        He'll mind, I reckon, not getting any work out'n me, but I won't be bounden to him any longer. How can he keep me if I ain't bounden to him?