If I use a computer command like:

bind keystroke macro

I refer to that keystroke as being bound to that macro. Is it also correct to say that they are bonded?

If I bind a bunch of twigs together, they are bound, but I don't think they are bonded.

Can "bound" and "bonded" be used interchangeably? Under what circumstances?

  • @joshdick: This question is barely even tangentially related to programming. Is it really necessary to have it tagged [programming]? Nov 19, 2010 at 22:45
  • I think it's useful to tag posts with subject-specific tags like this, and it certainly doesn't do any harm. I posted in meta asking what people think, and no one objected. Nov 20, 2010 at 5:57

3 Answers 3


Bound is the past tense of bind, while bonded is the past tense of an entirely different word, bond. I don't believe I've ever met a situation where the two words could be used interchangeably.

  • 2
    "bind" and "bond" have similar etymologies in some senses so I would say they were entirely different words. Nov 17, 2010 at 16:04
  • 4
    @Dennis, are you missing a 'not'? But beware the etymological fallacy: the fact that two words are related, as these clearly are, does not of itself tell you that they are in any way connected in the current language.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 17, 2010 at 17:25
  • 2
    @Colin: Yes, my comment should say "they were not entirely different words". Nov 17, 2010 at 17:41
  • to bind and to bond have pretty similar meanings though, and often things that are bound are in fact also bonded.
    – Some_Guy
    Dec 10, 2018 at 0:11

Maybe you mean "bounded"? In any case, the answer is no:

  • bound - past of to bind.
  • bonded - past of to bond.
  • bounded - past of to bound.

So in each case it's a different verb.

  • I think he probably does mean 'bounded', but good summary anyway.
    – Noldorin
    Nov 17, 2010 at 15:46
  • 1
    @Noldorin: No, I do not mean "bounded". That means either "having a boundary" or "bounced". Nov 17, 2010 at 15:53
  • 1
    It that case I can't even see a potential source of confusion..!
    – Noldorin
    Nov 17, 2010 at 16:25

In programming, we say that the keystroke is bound to the macro, not bonded.

  • 2
    It is somewhat arbitrary that whoever coined such expressions chose 'bind' for their metaphor: they could easily have chosen 'bond', and then we would talk about "keys being bonded to macros", and it would make just as much sense. But in fact, "bond" is not used that way.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 17, 2010 at 17:28

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