Bound and gagged is used in a literal way to describe a person who has been tied up (bound) and has had something placed in or over their mouth (gagged). This is typically done to prevent them from moving, escaping, or speaking, as in the case of someone who has been kidnapped or who is being held captive. This literal sense of the phrase is typically used in police reports or news reports about incidents in which someone has been restrained in such a way. Bound and gagged is also used figuratively to describe someone who has been silenced or prevented from speaking freely in some way. For example, people might describe themselves as being bound and gagged due to being restricted from speaking openly by legal restraints (such as a gag order, a nondisclosure agreement, or a ruling in a lawsuit) or pressure from other people or groups, such as their employer. Example: It seems like he has been bound and gagged by the newspaper after all the controversy over his opinion piece.
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