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See also: hide-bound


Alternative forms[edit]

  • hide-bound (less common)


hide (animal skin, noun) +‎ bound (tied, adjective)



hidebound (comparative more hidebound, superlative most hidebound)

  1. Bound with the hide of an animal.
    • 1992, Winifred Barr Rothenberg, From Market-places to a Market Economy: The Transformation of Rural Massachusetts, 1750-1850, page 58:
      Open the box in which his large hidebound book is kept. The faint smell of manure, over 150 years old, still rises from thick yellowing pages, and you begin to live his life.
    • 1992, T. O. Madden, We Were Always Free: A 200-Year Family History, published 2005 (reprint), page 61:
      But no matter where their place of residence, they were always accompanied by the hidebound chest that held the family papers.
  2. (of a domestic animal) Having the skin adhering so closely to the ribs and back as not to be easily loosened or raised; emaciated.
  3. (of trees) Having the bark so close and constricting that it impedes the growth.
    • 1627, Francis Bacon, William Rawley, editor, Sylva Sylvarum; Or A Natural History[1], 9 edition, published 1670, Century V §440:
      It hath been observed that hacking of trees in their bark, both downright, and across, so as you make them rather in slices than in continued hacks, doth great good to trees; and especially delivereth them from being hide-bound, and killeth their moss.
  4. (of a person) Stubborn; narrow-minded; inflexible.
    • 1644, Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England[2]:
      And how can a man teach with autority, which is the life of teaching, how can he be a Doctor in his book as he ought to be, or else had better be silent, whenas all he teaches, all he delivers, is but under the tuition, under the correction of his patriarchal licencer to blot or alter what precisely accords not with the hidebound humor which he calls his judgement.
    • 1850, Thomas Carlyle, “Downing Street”, in Latter-Day Pamphlets[3], Project Gutenberg edition, published 2008:
      In fact, such unfortunate persons have no resource but to become what we call Pedants; to ensconce themselves in a safe world of habitudes, of applicable or inapplicable traditions; not coveting, rather avoiding the general daylight of common-sense, as very extraneous to them and their procedure; by long persistence in which course they become Completed Pedants, hidebound, impenetrable, able to defy the hostile extraneous element; an alarming kind of men
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde[4], Collins Clear-type Press, page 77:
      Oh, I know he's a good fellow—you needn't frown—an excellent fellow, and I always mean to see more of him; but a hide-bound pedant for all that; an ignorant blatant pedant.
    • 1932, Virginia Woolf, “The Niece of an Earl”, in The Common Reader (Second Series)[5]:
      But things change; class distinctions were not always so hard and fast as they have now become. The Elizabethan age was far more elastic in this respect than our own; we, on the other hand, are far less hide-bound than the Victorians.
  5. (obsolete) Niggardly; penurious; stingy.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Quarles to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for hidebound in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


See also[edit]