“bind” versus “bond”


Video: pronunciation of




anything that binds, fastens, or restrains

2.  [pl.]
b.  Archaic

imprisonment; captivity

4.  a binding agreement; covenant

5.  a duty or obligation imposed by a contract, promise, etc.


a substance or device, as glue, solder, or a chain, which holds things together or
unites them

9.  Businessa.  an agreement by an agency holding taxable or dutiable goods that taxes or duties on them will be paid before they are sold

b.  the condition of goods kept in a warehouse until taxes or duties are paid

c.  an insurance contract by which a bonding agency guarantees payment of a specified sum to the payee in the event of a financial loss caused as by the act of a specified employee or
by some contingency over which the payee has no control

10.  Finance an interest-bearing certificate issued by a government or business, promising to pay the holder a specified sum on a specified date: it is a common means of raising capital funds

11.  Lawa. 

a written obligation to pay specified sums, or to do or not do specified things

b.  an amount paid as surety or bail

c.  Archaic

a bondsman, or surety

12.  Masonry the way in which bricks, stones, etc. are lapped upon one another in building

verb transitive13. 

to connect or fasten with or as with a bond; bind

14.  to furnish a bond, or bail, and thus become a surety for (someone)


to place or hold (goods) in or under bond


to issue interest-bearing certificates on


to put under bonded debt

18.  to arrange (
timbers, bricks, etc.) in a pattern that gives strength

verb intransitive19.  to connect, hold together, or solidify by or as by a bond

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Word origin

ME bond, band: see band1



noun1.  Obsolete

adjective2.  Obsolete

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Word origin

ME bonde < OE bonda: see bondage

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Definition of bond from the
Collins English Dictionary

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Scrabble scorefor 'bond':


Band, Bend, Bind, Bond, and Bund

One of the joys of researching word origins and usage is discovering facts such as that the five English words formed on the frame of b_nd, with different vowels, are cognates, all stemming from a common proto-Indo-European ancestral verb meaning “restrain.”

Band, meaning “a flat strip” or “something that binds,” came to refer not only to an object with either or both of those characteristics but also to an organized group of people, perhaps from the use of uniform pieces of cloth worn by affiliated warriors. This usage extended to refer to a group of musicians attached to a military unit, from which derived the use of the word for a civilian ensemble. Band is also a verb, meaning “bind” or “fasten” in one sense or “join” in another.

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Bend began as a verb describing fettering, or restraining of a person’s or animal’s feet, and the similar action of stringing a bow; from there it came to refer to any turning of a straight line or object and, as a noun, to a physical turn.

To bind originally meant to tie something or someone up, as if to fasten or restrain, or to dress a wound, and later acquired the figurative meaning of “commit,” “oblige,” or “require.

” The noun bind usually applies to the figurative sense, often with the connotation of being placed in an awkward situation, although someone may place someone else in a physical bind, as in wrestling.


"Bind" Versus "Bond"

On Twitter, @Quidnunciac asked about the past participle of “bond”:

SOS @grammargirl, ancestry is a “blood bond.” Are we “bonded” by blood or “bound” by blood. College essay nightmare! — Quidnunciac (@Quidnunciac) November 20, 2012

It’s a great question because even though “bond” and “bound” seem as if they are related and actually do have similar meanings, they are separate words with different origins.

Also, although Quicnunciac’s question is for a college essay, one wonders whether the talk of “blood bonds” is at least subconsciously motived by the final installment of Stephenie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga, which was just released last week. 

“Bind” Versus “Bond”

Let’s look at the difference between “bind” and “bond.” 

In a physical sense, when you bind something, you are taking two things and tying them together, but that tie can be broken.

When you bond something, you are also joining two things, but you are are unifying them, making them much harder to separate.

You’d use “bind” to talk about tying branches together to make a wreath, but you’d use “bond” to talk about gluing the whole wreath to a wooden backing.

“Bind” has another meaning though—one that conveys the idea of an obligation, oath, or committment—and oftentimes, this word makes more sense when you are talking about personal relationships.

“Bound” is the past tense and past participle of “to bind.” “Bonded” is the past tense and past participle of “to bond.”

To bind

  • I bound her to me.
  • I have bound her to me.

To bond

  • I am bonded to her
  • I have bonded her to me.  
  • “You can’t imagine how tight I am bound,”
  • –  Jacob Black in New Moon, trying to tell Bella about his bond to the wolves.

Quick and Dirty Tip

Molecular binding

Molecular binding is an attractive interaction between two molecules that results in a stable association in which the molecules are in close proximity to each other.It is formed when atoms or molecules bind together by sharing of electrons. It often but not always involves some chemical bonding.

In some cases, the associations can be quite strong—for example, the protein streptavidin and the vitamin biotin have a dissociation constant (reflecting the ratio between bound and free biotin) on the order of 10-14—and so the reactions are effectively irreversible. The result of molecular binding is sometimes the formation of a molecular complex in which the attractive forces holding the components together are generally non-covalent, and thus are normally energetically weaker than covalent bonds.

Molecular binding occurs in biological complexes (e.g., between pairs or sets of proteins, or between a protein and a small molecule ligand it binds) and also in abiologic chemical systems, e.g. as in cases of coordination polymers and coordination networks such as metal-organic frameworks.


Molecular binding can be classified into the following types:[1]

  • non-covalent – no chemical bonds are formed between the two interacting molecules hence the association is fully reversible
  • reversible covalent – a chemical bond is formed, however the free energy difference separating the noncovalently-bonded reactants from bonded product is near equilibrium and the activation barrier is relatively low such that the reverse reaction which cleaves the chemical bond easily occurs
  • irreversible covalent – a chemical bond is formed in which the product is thermodynamically much more stable than the reactants such that the reverse reaction does not take place.

Bound molecules are sometimes called a “molecular complex”—the term generally refers to non-covalent associations.[2] Non-covalent interactions can effectively become irreversible; for example, tight binding inhibitors of enzymes can have kinetics that closely resemble irreversible covalent inhibitors.

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Among the tightest known protein–protein complexes is that between the enzyme angiogenin and ribonuclease inhibitor; the dissociation constant for the human proteins is 5×10−16 mol/L.

[3][4] Another biological example is the binding protein streptavidin, which has extraordinarily high affinity for biotin (vitamin B7/H, dissociation constant, Kd ≈10−14 mol/L).[5] In such cases, if the reaction conditions change (e.g.

, the protein moves into an environment where biotin concentrations are very low, or pH or ionic conditions are altered), the reverse reaction can be promoted. For example, the biotin-streptavidin interaction can be broken by incubating the complex in water at 70 °C, without damaging either molecule.

[6] An example of change in local concentration causing dissociation can be found in the Bohr effect, which describes the dissociation of ligands from hemoglobin in the lung versus peripheral tissues.[5]

Some protein–protein interactions result in covalent bonding,[7] and some pharmaceuticals are irreversible antagonists that may or may not be covalently bound.

[8] Drug discovery has been through periods when drug candidates that bind covalently to their targets are attractive and then are avoided; the success of bortezomib made boron-based covalently binding candidates more attractive in the late 2000s.[9][10]

Driving force

In order for the complex to be stable, the free energy of complex by definition must be lower than the solvent separated molecules.

The binding may be primarily entropy-driven (release of ordered solvent molecules around the isolated molecule that results in a net increase of entropy of the system). When the solvent is water, this is known as the hydrophobic effect.

Alternatively the binding may be enthalpy-driven where non-covalent attractive forces such as electrostatic attraction, hydrogen bonding, and van der Waals / London dispersion forces are primarily responsible for the formation of a stable complex.

[11] Complexes that have a strong entropy contribution to formation tend to have weak enthalpy contributions. Conversely complexes that have strong enthalpy component tend to have a weak entropy component. This phenomenon is known as enthalpy-entropy compensation.[12]


The strength of binding between the components of molecular complex is measured quantitatively by the binding constant (KA), defined as the ratio of the concentration of the complex divided by the product of the concentrations of the isolated components at equilibrium in molar units.














{displaystyle A+B
ightleftharpoons AB:log K_{A}=log left({frac {[AB]}{[A][B]}}

When the molecular complex prevents the normal functioning of an enzyme, the binding constant is also referred to as inhibition constant (KI).


Molecules that can participate in molecular binding include proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and small organic molecules such as drugs. Hence the types of complexes that form as a result of molecular binding include:

  • protein–protein[13]
  • protein–DNA[14]
  • protein–hormone
  • protein–drug[15]

Proteins that form stable complexes with other molecules are often referred to as receptors while their binding partners are called ligands.[16]

See also

  • Receptor (biochemistry)
  • Supramolecular chemistry


  1. ^ Smith AJ, Zhang X, Leach AG, Houk KN (Jan 2009). “Beyond picomolar affinities: quantitative aspects of noncovalent and covalent binding of drugs to proteins”. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 52 (2): 225–33. doi:10.1021/jm800498e. PMC 2646787. PMID 19053779.
  2. ^ “Definition of a molecular complex”. Compendium of Chemical Terminology: Gold Book. International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. 2012-08-19. A molecular entity formed by loose association involving two or more component molecular entities (ionic or uncharged), or the corresponding chemical species. The bonding between the components is normally weaker than in a covalent bond. The term has also been used with a variety of shades of meaning in different contexts: it is therefore best avoided when a more explicit alternative is applicable. In inorganic chemistry the term 'coordination entity' is recommended instead of 'complex'.
  3. ^ Papageorgiou AC, Shapiro R, Acharya KR (Sep 1997). “Molecular recognition of human angiogenin by placental ribonuclease inhibitor–an X-ray crystallographic study at 2.0 A resolution”. The EMBO Journal. 16 (17): 5162–77. doi:10.1093/emboj/16.17.5162. PMC 1170149. PMID 9311977.
  4. ^ Dickson KA, Haigis MC, Raines RT (2005). “Ribonuclease inhibitor: structure and function”. Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology. 80: 349–374. doi:10.1016/S0079-6603(05)80009-1. PMC 2811166. PMID 16164979.
  5. ^ a b Green NM (1975). “Avidin”. Advances in Protein Chemistry. 29: 85–133. doi:10.1016/s0065-3233(08)60411-8. PMID 237414.
  6. ^ Holmberg A, Blomstergren A, Nord O, Lukacs M, Lundeberg J, Uhlén M (Feb 2005). “The biotin-streptavidin interaction can be reversibly broken using water at elevated temperatures”. Electrophoresis. 26 (3): 501–510. doi:10.1002/elps.200410070. PMID 15690449.
  7. ^ Westermarck J, Ivaska J, Corthals GL (Jul 2013). “Identification of protein interactions involved in cellular signaling”. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 12 (7): 1752–63. doi:10.1074/mcp.R113.027771. PMC 3708163. PMID 23481661.
  8. ^ Rang HP, Ritter JM (2007). Rang and Dale's pharmacology (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. p. 19. ISBN 0-443-06911-5.
  9. ^ Hunter P (Feb 2009). “Not boring at all. Boron is the new carbon in the quest for novel drug candidates”. EMBO Reports. 10 (2): 125–8. doi:10.1038/embor.2009.2. PMC 2637326. PMID 19182828.
  10. ^ London N, Miller RM, Krishnan S, Uchida K, Irwin JJ, Eidam O, Gibold L, Cimermančič P, Bonnet R, Shoichet BK, Taunton J (Dec 2014). “Covalent docking of large libraries for the discovery of chemical probes”. Nature Chemical Biology. 10 (12): 1066–72. doi:10.1038/nchembio.1666. PMC 4232467. PMID 25344815.
  11. ^ Miyamoto S, Kollman PA (Sep 1993). “What determines the strength of noncovalent association of ligands to proteins in aqueous solution?”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 90 (18): 8402–6. Bibcode:1993PNAS…90.8402M. doi:10.1073/pnas.90.18.8402. PMC 47364. PMID 8378312.
  12. ^ Cooper A (Oct 1999). “Thermodynamic analysis of biomolecular interactions”. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology. 3 (5): 557–63. doi:10.1016/S1367-5931(99)00008-3. PMID 10508661.
  13. ^ Fu H (2004). Protein–protein interactions: methods and applications. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. ISBN 1-58829-120-0.
  14. ^ Seitz H (2007). Analytics of Protein–DNA Interactions (Advances in Biochemical Engineering / Biotechnology). Berlin: Springer. ISBN 3-540-48147-8.
  15. ^ Folkers G, Böhm H, Schneider G, Mannhold R, Kubinyi H (2003). Protein–ligand interactions from molecular recognition to drug design. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. ISBN 3-527-30521-1.
  16. ^ Klotz IM (1997). Ligand-receptor energetics: a guide for the perplexed. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-17626-5.
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The difference between Bind and Fasten

  1. Bind as a verb (intransitive):

    To tie; to confine by any ligature.

  2. Bind as a verb (intransitive):

    To cohere or stick together in a mass.

    “Just to make the cheese more binding'”

  3. Bind as a verb (intransitive):

    To be restrained from motion, or from customary or natural action, as by friction.

    “I wish I knew why the sewing machine binds up after I use it for a while.”

  4. Bind as a verb (intransitive):

    To exert a binding or restraining influence.

    “These are the ties that bind.”

  5. Bind as a verb (transitive):

    To tie or fasten tightly together, with a cord, band, ligature, chain, etc.

    “to bind grain in bundles  to bind a prisoner”

  6. Bind as a verb (transitive):

    To confine, restrain, or hold by physical force or influence of any kind.

    “Gravity binds the planets to the sun.”

    “Frost binds the earth.”

  7. Bind as a verb (transitive):

    To couple.

  8. Bind as a verb (figuratively):

    To oblige, restrain, or hold, by authority, law, duty, promise, vow, affection, or other social tie.

    “to bind the conscience  to bind by kindness  bound by affection  commerce binds nations to each other”

  9. Bind as a verb (law):

    To put (a person) under definite legal obligations, especially, under the obligation of a bond or covenant.

  10. Bind as a verb (law):

    To place under legal obligation to serve.

    “to bind an apprentice  bound out to service”

  11. Bind as a verb (transitive):

    To protect or strengthen by applying a band or binding, as the edge of a carpet or garment.

  12. Bind as a verb (transitive, archaic):

    To make fast (a thing) about or upon something, as by tying; to encircle with something.

    “to bind a belt about one  to bind a compress upon a wound”

  13. Bind as a verb (transitive):

    To cover, as with a bandage.

  14. Bind as a verb (transitive, archaic):

    To prevent or restrain from customary or natural action.

    “Certain drugs bind the bowels.”

  15. Bind as a verb (transitive):

    To put together in a cover, as of books.

    “The three novels were bound together.”

  16. Bind as a verb (transitive, chemistry):

    To make two or more elements stick together.

  17. Bind as a verb (transitive, computing):

    To associate an identifier with a value; to associate a variable name, method name, etc. with the content of a storage location.

  18. Bind as a verb (UK, dialect):

    To complain; to whine about something.

  1. Bind as a noun:

    That which binds or ties.

  2. Bind as a noun:

    A troublesome situation; a problem; a predicament or quandary.

  3. Bind as a noun:

    Any twining or climbing plant or stem, especially a hop vine; a bine.

  4. Bind as a noun (music):

    A ligature or tie for grouping notes.

  5. Bind as a noun (chess):

    A strong grip or stranglehold on a position that is difficult for the opponent to break.

  6. Bind as a noun:

    The indurated clay of coal mines.

  1. Fasten as a verb (ambitransitive):

    To attach or connect in a secure manner.

    • “The sailor fastened the boat to the dock with a half-hitch.”
    • “Fasten your seatbelts!”
    • “Can you fasten these boards together with some nails?”
  2. Fasten as a verb:

    To cause to take close effect; to make to tell; to land.

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