Middle English Dictionary Entry

unbīnden v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. onbounde ppl., which should be deleted.
1.
(a) To release (sb., an idol) from physical restraint; cause the release of (sb.); also, unfetter (hands, feet); also, untether (an animal, an animal’s neck); (b) to undo (the bonds of hell); unleash (Satan, the four angels of the Apocalypse) from restraint in hell; liberate (sb.) from hell; also, liberate (sb. in hell); (c) fig. to effect a spiritual release; loosen (the bonds of sin); free (sb. or the soul from sin, bondage to the devil, etc.); (d) in references to Mat.16.19: to grant liberation from punitive restraint or damnation; effect the escape of (sb., a soul, etc.) from punishment or damnation; binden and ~.
2.
(a) To grant freedom from legal or contractual constraint; relieve (sb. or an institution of a legal or contractual obligation); also fig.; also, break (a contract); settle (a legal dispute) [quot. 1340, 1st]; (b) to remove a constraint from (sb.); free (the tongue, heart, etc.) from constraint; also with allusion to sense 1.(d) [quot. c1450]; (c) to give up on an effort; (d) ppl. unbounden, unconstrained (by the law of God or Providence).
3.
(a) To make a separation [quot. a1300]; cause the separation of (the soul from the body or earthly matter); separate (sb. from the body, sth. from its original nature); also, separate (people); disperse (people); (b) to break (sth.) apart;—also without obj. [quot. c1400]; break off (part of a carcass); also, disjoin (people joined together); also, detach (hearts, affection); (c) to sever an attachment to (a burden), be rid of;—used fig.; ppl. unbounden, cut off (from assistance); (d) to deliver (a woman in labor of a child).
4.
(a) To unburden oneself (of sufferings) [quot. c1400 I herd an harping]; relieve the physical or mental distress of (sb.); disburden (sb. of distress or a cause of distress); (b) to alleviate (torment, sufferings).
5.
(a) To unbandage (a wound, wounded part of the body); also, remove a blindfold from (the eyes) [quot. c1450]; remove the wrappings from (a corpse) [quot. c1384]; (b) to unwind (sth. used for wrapping or binding); also fig.; also, of a snake: uncoil (itself); (c) unbounden up, of hair: ?not coiled; ?not tied up.
6.
(a) To untie (a knot);—used fig.; undo (a lock, clasp); also, loosen (a shoe or sandal thong); (b) to remove the fastening from (a chest, sack, etc.); remove (arrows, keys) from a bundle; ppl. unbounden, unfastened; of written material: not placed in a binding; of grain, a praedial tithe: left loose, unsheaved.
7.
To bring about looseness or softness; promote loosening of the bowels; also, cause (sinews) to relax.
8.
(a) To dissolve (an adhesive); also fig.;—also without obj. [quot. c1450]; reduce (a swelling, sore, etc.); also, break up (soil); (b) to destroy (sth.); also fig.; also, drive away (winter); ppl. unbindinge, destructive [quot. a1398, 2nd].