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A no-win situation. When both of Sally's jobs scheduled her to work on the same day, she was put in a double bind. She needed both incomes and could not afford to lose either position.
bind (something or someone) down
To anchor or fasten something or someone in place. You need to bind down the shed in the backyard before the big storm. Can you please bind down the baby in her highchair?
1. To present a criminal to a legal authority. A noun can be used before or after "over." A: "Who's being interrogated?" B: "Someone the guys on patrol bound over to our department last night."
2. To use a legal obligation to induce a particular action (such as appearing in court or avoiding trouble), as of a criminal. A noun can be used before or after "over." My lawyer believes that the judge will bind me over in exchange for my good behavior.
bind (someone or something) together
To join or fasten together. I fell down because some pranksters bound my shoelaces together. The teacher bound us together for the three-legged race.
To wrap something or someone in a material. A noun can be used before or after "up." I bound up my foot in a bandage to try to reduce the swelling. Bind yourself up in blankets if you're cold.
bound hand and foot
1. Literally, having one's hands and feet tied together. In the movie, the security guards were all bound hand and foot so that they couldn't sound the alarm.
2. By extension, feeling trapped in a daunting situation. I graduated from college and found myself bound hand and foot to debt that I won't be able to pay off for years.
in a bind
In a particularly difficult or awkward situation, especially one that is not easy to resolve or escape. I'm going to in quite a bind if this loan isn't approved. Sorry I'm late, Fred was in a bind and needed me to drive him home.
bind (someone) hand and foot
1. Literally, to tie someone's hands and feet together. In the movie, the hero bound all the security guards hand and foot so that they couldn't sound the alarm.
2. By extension, to cause someone to feel trapped in a daunting situation. Yes, I have a degree now, but this institution has bound me hand and foot to debt that I won't be able to pay off for years.
tie (someone) hand and foot
1. Literally, to tie someone's hands and feet together. In the movie, the hero tied all the security guards hand and foot so that they couldn't sound the alarm.
2. By extension, to cause someone to feel trapped in a daunting situation. Yes, I have a degree now, but this institution has tied me hand and foot to debt that I won't be able to pay off for years.
in a double bind
In a position in which either of two choices will result in negative consequences; in a no-win situation. When both of Sally's jobs scheduled her to work on the same day, she was put in a double bind. She needed both incomes and could not afford to lose either position.
In knitting, to make an edge with a row of stitches. A noun or pronoun can be used between "bind" and "off." Your scarf looks great—you just need to bind off now.
bind someone or something down
to tie or secure someone or something to something. Bind the tarpaulin so it won't get away. We will bind down the patient tightly. They bound the hatch down so it could not be opened.
bind someone or something together
to tie the parts of something together; to tie a number of things or people together. Can you bind together all three parts? Bind these two bandits together and lead them to jail.
bind someone or something up (in something)and bind someone or something up (with something)
to tie someone or something up in something. They bound the books up in leather straps. I will bind up the larger sticks in strong cord.
bind someone over (to someone or something)
to deliver someone to some legal authority; to deliver someone to some legal authority. (A legal usage.) They bound the suspect over to the sheriff. The sheriff will bind over the suspect to the county jail.
bound hand and foot
with hands and feet tied up. The robbers left us bound hand and foot. We remained bound hand and foot until the police found us and untied us.
*in a bindand *in a jam
Fig. in a tight or difficult situation; stuck on a problem. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; find oneself ~.) I'm in a bind. I owe a lot of money. Whenever I get into a jam, I ask my supervisor for help. When things get busy around here, we get in a bind. We could use another helper.
Oblige someone to do or not do something; hold on bail or keep under bond. For example, The sheriff will bind over the murder suspect to the homicide division. This phrase is nearly always used in a legal context. [Late 1500s]
bound hand and foot
Wholly obligated, unable to free oneself. For example, These rules have us bound hand and foot; we can't even discuss the matter. This term transfers the literal meaning, having one's hands and feet tied and therefore unable to move, to legal, moral, or social obligations. The expression dates from the 10th century a.d.
in a bind
Also, in a box or hole or jam or tight corner or tight spot . In a difficult, threatening, or embarrassing position; also, unable to solve a dilemma. For example, He's put us in a bind: we can't refuse, but at the same time we can't fill the order, or Jim's in a box; he can't afford to pay what he owes us, or He quit without giving notice and now we're really in a hole, or We always end up in a jam during the holiday season, or He's in a tight corner with those new customers, or We'll be in a tight spot unless we can find another thousand dollars. All these colloquial terms allude to places from which one can't easily extricate oneself. The phrase using bind was first recorded in 1851; box, 1865; jam, 1914; tight spot, 1852. Also see in a fix.
a double bind
If you describe a situation as a double bind, you mean that the situation is impossible, because you have a problem that you cannot solve without causing another problem. It is the absent dad's double bind: abandon your children and you are attacked as irresponsible; fight to keep contact with them and you are accused of disrupting the child's new family life. Note: You can also say that you are in a double bind or are caught in a double bind. Women are in a double bind: they are expected to act like men, but are criticized when they do.
bound hand and foot
If someone or something is bound hand and foot by something, that thing prevents them from acting freely or doing what they want. These people are bound hand and foot by tradition. In a land bound hand and foot by petty regulations and bureaucracy, he saw that there were thousands of deals just waiting to be done.
bind (or tie) someone hand and footseverely restrict someone's freedom to act or make decisions.
in a ˈbind(American English) in a difficult situation that you do not know how to get out of: I’d be in a bind without a car. I drive everywhere these days.
in a ˌdouble ˈbindin a situation in which it is difficult to choose what to do because whatever you choose will have negative results: Students are caught in a double bind between a lack of jobs if they leave school and a huge bill for higher education if they stay.
bind/tie somebody hand and ˈfootremove or restrict somebody’s freedom of action or movement: Staying at home to look after a sick parent often means that a person is tied hand and foot. ♢ I can do nothing to help you because I’m bound hand and foot by my present contract.
To secure some number of stitches in knitting and form an edge by lifting one stitch over the next: Bind off 12 stitches on the next row to make the neck edge. Make 5 stitches on the next row and bind them off. The scarf is long enough, so you can bind off.
To put someone under a financial obligation as a guarantee of that person's appearance at trial or of his or her good behavior for a period of time: I was arrested for littering, and the court bound me over to keep the peace for six months. After a brief hearing, the judge bound over the accused murderer for trial and set the bail at one million dollars.
n. a problem; a wrinkle. Unfortunately, a new bind has slowed down the project.