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indenture

[in-den-cher] /ɪnˈdɛn tʃər/
noun
1.
a deed or agreement executed in two or more copies with edges correspondingly indented as a means of identification.
2.
any deed, written contract, or sealed agreement.
3.
a contract by which a person, as an apprentice, is bound to service.
4.
any official or formal list, certificate, etc., authenticated for use as a voucher or the like.
5.
the formal agreement between a group of bondholders and the debtor as to the terms of the debt.
verb (used with object), indentured, indenturing.
7.
to bind by indenture, as an apprentice.
8.
Archaic. to make a depression in; wrinkle; furrow.
Origin of indenture
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English < Medieval Latin indentūra. See indent1, -ure
Related forms
indentureship, noun
unindentured, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for indenture
Historical Examples
  • The engraver has omitted the indenture upon the fess, which, however, appears upon the shield.

    A Complete Guide to Heraldry Arthur Charles Fox-Davies
  • I have broken my indenture, and I think of running the country.'

    The Proverbs of Scotland Alexander Hislop
  • The statute explicitly included ladies and any writing, oath, or promise as well as indenture.

  • And in our own country every white apprentice is, in his indenture, called a servant.

    Abolitionism Exposed! W. W. Sleigh
  • The emigrants who had no capital were usually indented servants, the terms of indenture varying from two to seven years.

    The Colonization of North America Herbert Eugene Bolton
  • One part of the indenture was retained by the Master, the other part by the Deans.

    Old English Libraries Ernest Savage
  • Runnaways shall double the time of service absent at the end of their time of indenture.

    Fugitive Slaves Marion Gleason McDougall
  • Thereupon he canceled the indenture of apprenticeship, and the newspaper was thereafter published by Benjamin Franklin.

    Benjamin Franklin John Torrey Morse, Jr.
  • His father secured an apprentice, and probably had drawn up for him a like form of indenture.

    True to His Home Hezekiah Butterworth
  • It further declared that any voluntary contract of service or indenture should not be binding longer than nine years.

British Dictionary definitions for indenture

indenture

/ɪnˈdɛntʃə/
noun
1.
any deed, contract, or sealed agreement between two or more parties
2.
(formerly) a deed drawn up in duplicate, each part having correspondingly indented edges for identification and security
3.
(often pl) a contract between an apprentice and his master
4.
a formal or official list or certificate authenticated for use as a voucher, etc
5.
a less common word for indentation
verb
6.
(intransitive) to enter into an agreement by indenture
7.
(transitive) to bind (an apprentice, servant, etc) by indenture
8.
(transitive) (obsolete) to indent or wrinkle
Derived Forms
indentureship, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for indenture
n.

"contract for services," late 14c., from Anglo-French endenture, Old French endenteure "indentation," from endenter (see indent). Such contracts (especially between master craftsmen and apprentices) were written in full identical versions on a sheet of parchment, which was then cut apart in a zigzag, or "notched" line. Each party took one, and the genuineness of a document of indenture could be proved by juxtaposition with its counterpart. As a verb, 1650s, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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