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From Middle English, from Middle French, from Late Latin ligātura, from Latin ligātus, past participle of ligāre (to tie, bind).



ligature (countable and uncountable, plural ligatures)

Examples of ligatures
  1. (uncountable) The act of tying or binding something.
  2. (countable) A cord or similar thing used to tie something; especially the thread used in surgery to close a vessel or duct.
  3. A thread or wire used to remove tumours, etc.
  4. The state of being bound or stiffened; stiffness.
    the ligature of a joint
  5. (countable, typography) A character that visually combines multiple letters, such as æ, œ, ß or ij; also logotype. Sometimes called a typographic ligature.
  6. (countable, music) A group of notes played as a phrase, or the curved line that indicates such a phrase.
  7. (music) A curve or line connecting notes; a slur.
  8. (countable) A piece used to hold a reed to the mouthpiece on woodwind instruments.
  9. Impotence caused by magic or charms.

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ligature (third-person singular simple present ligatures, present participle ligaturing, simple past and past participle ligatured)

  1. (surgery) To ligate; to tie.

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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.



Borrowed from Late Latin ligātura, from Latin ligātus, past participle of ligō (tie, bind). Compare the popular Old French liüre.


ligature f (plural ligatures)

  1. a tie; the action of tying
  2. a binding, notably in horticulture
  3. ligature; a character that combines multiple letters; logotype.

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  1. vocative masculine singular of ligātūrus