Meaning of “bound” in the English Dictionary

"bound" in 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)

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The success of the internal market is closely bound up with cooperation between countries, and a concerted effort is the only way of achieving the results we all long for.
By refusing to get to grips with the very system that has created these problems for us, you are bound to fail.
The inclusion of a further 718 products on the list for bound duty-free treatment is a beneficial measure, at both an economic and a public health level.
I am bound to ask whether there is anybody out there in the nation states who genuinely supports this project without, on some level, being paid to.
There are bound to be shortcomings, but we are building on everything that has been achieved over the last ten years.
Are we not bound to implement them?
Let us not be distracted from this task, and let us not enter into a fruitless statistical debate whose outcome is bound to be unproductive.
You should go and see what a shambles they have become, and you are bound to wonder for how long they were actively in use.
Although the legislator's task may be to provide a framework for research, the risk is that it will be bound up in an overly restrictive straitjacket.
I feel duty bound to publicly denounce the fact that fishing is absent from the programme which you have presented to us.