Meaning of “bound” in the English Dictionary

"bound" in British English

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uk /baʊnd/ us /baʊnd/

bound adjective (CERTAIN)

B2 [ after verb ] certain or extremely likely to happen:

[ + to infinitive ] You're bound to forget people's names occasionally.
You're bound to feel nervous about your interview.
These two young musicians are bound for international success (= are certain to be successful).
be bound and determined US

to be seriously intending to do something:

They are bound and determined to build their own house someday.
I'll be bound UK old-fashioned

I am certain:

He's in the pub, I'll be bound.

bound adjective (DIRECTION)

C1 [ after verb ] going to:

She was on a plane bound for Moscow when she got sick.


uk /baʊnd/ us /baʊnd/


uk /baʊnd/ us /baʊnd/


uk / -baʊnd/ us / -baʊnd/

-bound suffix (DIRECTION)

travelling in the stated direction:

Northbound traffic is moving very slowly because of the accident.
US The line did not close completely, but inbound and outbound trains (= trains which were arriving and leaving) had to share one of the two tracks near the station.

-bound suffix (COVERED)

used to describe a book that is covered or held together in the stated way:

a leather-bound book

used to describe clothes or other objects that have edges covered in the stated way:

leather-bound cuffs

(Definition of “bound” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"bound" in American English

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us /bɑʊnd/

bound (TIE)

past simple and past participle of bind


us /bɑʊnd/

bound adjective (CERTAIN)

bound adjective (TIED)

[ not gradable ] tied tightly or fastened:

Several of the prisoners had been bound.

bound adjective (FORCED)

having a moral or legal duty to do something:

She is not legally bound to pay the debts, but she has agreed to do it anyway.

bound adjective (TOWARD)

[ not gradable ] traveling in the direction of:

She was on a plane bound for Fairbanks.
fig. These two young musicians are bound for success.


us /bɑʊnd/

bound verb (LIMIT)

[ T ] to mark or form the limits of:

The town is bounded on one side by a river.

bound verb (JUMP)

boundnoun [ C ]


bound noun [ C ] (JUMP)

a quick, large jump:

With one bound the dog was over the fence.

(Definition of “bound” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"bound" in Business English

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uk /baʊnd/ us

[ after noun ] LAW having a legal duty to do something:

be bound to do sth Because of international treaty obligations, the Government is legally bound to consider every asylum claim.
be bound by sth Many government agencies are bound by a federal order to adequately serve speakers of other languages or risk losing funding.

[ before noun ] COMMERCE kept at or below an agreed or allowed level:

a bound level/rate/tariff Overall, the percentage of developed countries' imports of industrial goods under bound rates rose from 94% to 99%.


(Definition of “bound” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)