bound hand and foot

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.
See also: and, bound, foot, hand

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.
See also: and, bound, foot, hand
References in classic literature ?
He thought of the waste of the best part of his life, of the change it made in his character for the worse every day, of the dreadful nature of his existence, bound hand and foot, to a dead woman, and tormented by a demon in her shape.
Britannia, that unfortunate female, is always before me, like a trussed fowl: skewered through and through with office-pens, and bound hand and foot with red tape.
They are minded, also, to establish the idolatrous forms of English Episcopacy; so that, when Laud shall kiss the Pope's toe, as cardinal of Rome, he may deliver New England, bound hand and foot, into the power of his master!
He was there, in that fantastic circle bound hand and foot, but so far as he could see, at present unhurt.
To a caged man, bound hand and foot, this was a terrible idea--but no, he thought, his mother was by; there was the portrait-painter, too--simple enough, but still living in the world, and of it.
You shall see him, mother, bound hand and foot, and brought to London at a saddle- girth; and you shall hear of him at Tyburn Tree if we have luck.
Friday would fain have had me take one of their canoes, and pursue them; and indeed I was very anxious about their escape, lest, carrying the news home to their people, they should come back perhaps with two or three hundred of the canoes and devour us by mere multitude; so I consented to pursue them by sea, and running to one of their canoes, I jumped in and bade Friday follow me: but when I was in the canoe I was surprised to find another poor creature lie there, bound hand and foot, as the Spaniard was, for the slaughter, and almost dead with fear, not knowing what was the matter; for he had not been able to look up over the side of the boat, he was tied so hard neck and heels, and had been tied so long that he had really but little life in him.
For eight years," she went on, her voice clear enough now, although it seemed charged with a curious metallic vibration, "for eight years we've borne it, all three of us, slaves, bound hand and foot, lashed with his tongue, driven along the path of his desires.
Here I lay, bound hand and foot, doubtless almost upon the very site of a part of ancient London, yet all about me was a primeval wilderness, and I was a captive of half-naked wild men.
The unlucky partisan, thus robbed of his horses, turned furiously on his prisoners, ordered them to be bound hand and foot, and swore to put them to death unless his property were restored.