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debt bondage

Definition Debt Bondage

(noun) When an individual pledges to act as a servant in exchange for a loan or passage and then are not paid enough to earn back their freedom.

Debt Bondage Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: debt bond·age

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /dEt bAHn-dij/
  • British English – /dEt bOn-dij/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /dɛt ˈbɑndɪʤ/
  • British English – /dɛt ˈbɒndɪʤ/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: dept bondages
  • Also called:
    • debt servitude
    • debt slavery
    • bonded labor
  • Variant spelling: debt-bondage

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Debt Bondage

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “debt bondage.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 9, 2020 (https://sociologydictionary.org/debt-bondage/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

debt bondage. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/debt-bondage/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “debt bondage.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 9, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/debt-bondage/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“debt bondage.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 9 Aug. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/debt-bondage/>.