• WordNet 3.6
    • n ligature the act of tying or binding things together
    • n ligature something used to tie or bind
    • n ligature thread used by surgeons to bind a vessel (as to constrict the flow of blood)
    • n ligature a metal band used to attach a reed to the mouthpiece of a clarinet or saxophone
    • n ligature character consisting of two or more letters combined into one
    • n ligature (music) a group of notes connected by a slur
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ligature (Mus) A curve or line connecting notes; a slur.
    • Ligature (Print) A double character, or a type consisting of two or more letters or characters united, as æfiffl.
    • Ligature (Surg) A thread or string for tying the blood vessels, particularly the arteries, to prevent hemorrhage.
    • Ligature (Surg) A thread or wire used to remove tumors, etc.
    • Ligature Anything that binds; a band or bandage.
    • Ligature Impotence caused by magic or charms.
    • Ligature The act of binding.
    • Ligature The state of being bound or stiffened; stiffness; as, the ligature of a joint.
    • v. t Ligature (Surg) To ligate; to tie.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ligature Anything that serves for tying, binding, or uniting, as a cord or bandage; hence, any binding, restraining, or uniting agency or principle.
    • n ligature Specifically In surgery: A cord for tying a blood-vessel, particularly an artery, to prevent hemorrhage.
    • n ligature A cord or wire to remove tumors, etc., by strangulation.
    • n ligature The act of binding; ligation.
    • n ligature The state of being bound or consolidated.
    • n ligature Impotence supposed to be induced by magic.
    • n ligature In music: In medieval musical notation, one of various compound note-forms designed to indicate groups of two or more tones which were to be sung to a single syllable—that is, similar to a group of slurred notes in the modern notation. Ligatures are often difficult to decipher, on account of the doubtfulness not only of the pitch of the tones intended, but of their relative duration.
    • n ligature In modern musical notation, a tie or band; hence, a group of notes slurred together, intended to be sung at a single breath or to be played as a continuous phrase.
    • n ligature In contrapuntal music, a syncopation.
    • n ligature In printing and writing, a type or character consisting of or representing two or more letters or characters united. In type-founding the ligatures fl, fl, ff, ffi, ffl are made on account of the kern or overhanging top of the letter f. Six others were formerly made with the similarly shaped long s, now disused—fb, fh, fi, fk, fl, and ft; and there was also a ligatured ct (εt). A still larger number of ligatures were used in old fonts of Greek type, all of which are now generally discarded. In medieval cursive or minuscule manuscripts, especially of Greek, ligatures are very numerous, and in the earlier printed editions about fifty such characters are of frequent occurrence. Some of the Greek ligatures and of the elements composing them seem to have originated in tachygraphic or shorthand characters. See tachygraphy.
    • ligature To compress or tie by means of a ligature, in any sense; ligate.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Ligature anything that binds: a bandage: : :
    • Ligature (mus.) a line connecting notes
    • Ligature (print.) a type of two letters
    • Ligature (med.) a cord for tying the blood-vessels, &c.: impotence produced by magic
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ligatura, fr. ligare, ligatum, to bind: cf. F. ligature,. Cf. Ally League Legatura Liable Ligament
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. ligamentumligāre, to bind.


In literature:

On the western side these pillars are four slender columns, linked by snake-like ligatures.
"New Italian sketches" by John Addington Symonds
Ligatures are either very tight or of middling tightness.
"The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science" by Various
The last trick, be it recollected, consists in the ligature being cut and Miss Fay's coming free to the front.
"Mystic London:" by Charles Maurice Davies
If there are several tumors protruding, apply ligatures to two of the largest, when these are removed, the others will disappear.
"An Epitome of Homeopathic Healing Art" by B. L. Hill
Now, these bones and their attendant ligatures are wonderfully and wisely contrived.
"Our Bird Comrades" by Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser
Put ligatures on his arms.
"Uncanny Tales" by Various
The ligature silk, undyed, as used by surgeons, is perhaps the strongest material, and can be had in various thicknesses.
"Bookbinding, and the Care of Books" by Douglas Cockerell
The agony can be deadened with an opiate, and the ruptured arteries ligatured.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
The slowness and method of this absorption renders the use of a ligature useless and unsafe.
"Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts" by Girl Scouts
Ligatures were applied to prevent bleeding.
"North American Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1826" by Various

In poetry:

By now they had ligatures around my blood vessels
and hooks opening up my wounds
to let the surgeon separate
the paravertebral muscles
and expose the spines and arches.
I uttered a soft moan.
"The Plague Colemn" by Jaroslav Seifert

In news:

Nathan Page, 25, died from ligature hanging Tuesday morning, law enforcement officials say.