Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Not free or independent - thesaurus




if you are dependent on someone or something, you need them in order to live or succeed

subject to something

formal in a situation where you have to obey a rule or a law



having an obligation to do something because of a law, promise etc



if you are answerable to someone, you have to explain to them the reasons for your actions or mistakes



depending on someone or something

be a slave to/of something

to be influenced or controlled too much by something

a hostage to something

someone or something that is controlled by people or things that reduce their freedom

under someone’s control/influence/spell

strongly influenced by someone, so that you do what you think they want, or you copy them in some way



feeling that you should do something because you are expected to, or because it is morally right, even if you do not really want to do it



left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else

Show me more
Show me less

More synonyms

be/come under the wing of

to be controlled by someone or something

despite yourself

if you do something despite yourself, you do it even though you did not intend or expect to

fall into someone’s hands

to be caught by someone, or to come under their control

fall under someone’s influence/sway

to be strongly influenced by someone

have no choice/have little choice

if you have no choice or little choice, you have to do something

in someone’s pocket

controlled by someone and willing to do whatever they want

in spite of yourself

if you do something in spite of yourself, you do it even though you did not want or plan to do it

in thrall to

literary completely controlled or influenced by someone or something



left or caught in a place and unable to leave

serve one/two etc masters

to be controlled by one/two etc people or things

someone’s hands are tied

someone cannot do what they want to do because something such as a rule or law prevents it



formal under the authority and control of a government or country

through no choice of someone’s own

used for saying that what has happened to someone was not decided or chosen by them

under guard

protected or prevented from escaping by a guard

under someone’s heel

under someone’s complete control

under someone’s sway

under someone’s control or rule

under the aegis of

under the protection or authority of a particular group, government, or person

under the watchful eye of someone

watched by someone who has power or authority over you

under watch

if someone is under watch, they are guarded or watched carefully at all times



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play