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Bonds are debt and are issued for a period of more than one year. The US government, local governments, water districts, companies and many other types of institutions sell bonds. When an investor buys bonds, he or she is lending money. The seller of the bond agrees to repay the principal amount of the loan at a specified time. Interest-bearing bonds pay interest periodically.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


A security representing the debt of the company or government issuing it. When a company or government issues a bond, it borrows money from the bondholders; it then uses the money to invest in its operations. In exchange, the bondholder receives the principal amount back on a maturity date stated in the indenture, which is the agreement governing a bond's terms. In addition, the bondholder usually has the right to receive coupons or payments on the bond's interest. Generally speaking, a bond is tradable though some, such as savings bonds, are not. The interest rates on Treasury securities are considered a benchmark for interest rates on other debt in the United States. The higher the interest rate on a bond is, the more risky it is likely to be.

There are several different kinds of bonds. The most basic division is the one between corporate bonds, which are issued by private companies, and government bonds such as Treasuries or municipal bonds. Other common types include callable bonds, which allow the issuer to repay the principal prior to maturity, depriving the bondholder of future coupons, and floating rate notes, which carry an interest rate that changes from time to time according to some benchmark. Along with cash and stocks, bonds are one of the basic types of assets.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


1. A long-term promissory note. Bonds vary widely in maturity, security, and type of issuer, although most are sold in $1,000 denominations or, if a municipal bond, $5,000 denominations.
2. A written obligation that makes a person or an institution responsible for the actions of another.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


Bonds are debt securities issued by corporations and governments.

Bonds are, in fact, loans that you and other investors make to the issuers in return for the promise of being paid interest, usually but not always at a fixed rate, over the loan term. The issuer also promises to repay the loan principal at maturity, on time and in full.

Because most bonds pay interest on a regular basis, they are also described as fixed-income investments. While the term bond is used generically to describe all debt securities, bonds are specifically long-term investments, with maturities longer than ten years.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


a FINANCIAL SECURITY issued by a company or by the government as a means of borrowing long-term funds. Bonds are, typically issued for a set number of years (often 10 years plus), being repayable on maturity. They are issued in units of a fixed (nominal) face value and bear a fixed (nominal) rate of interest. Purchasers of bonds include private individuals, commercial banks and institutional investors (pension funds, etc.) who hold them as a form of portfolio investment.

Once issued, bonds can be bought and sold on the STOCK MARKET. Bond prices tend to fluctuate at prices below their face value, reflecting buying and selling strengths, but are closely linked to prevailing market interest rates so as to remain attractive to potential buyers. For example, a £100 bond with a nominal 5% interest rate returning £5 per year would have to be priced at £50 if current market interest rates were 10% so that a buyer could earn an effective return of £5/£50 = 10% on his investment.

In addition to their role as a means of borrowing money, the sale and purchase of bonds is used by the monetary authorities to control the MONEY SUPPLY. See MONETARY POLICY. See also EUROCURRENCY MARKET, GILT-EDGED SECURITY.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson


a FINANCIAL SECURITY issued by businesses and by the government as a means of BORROWING long-term funds. Bonds are typically issued for periods of several years; they are repayable on maturity and bear a fixed NOMINAL (COUPON) INTEREST RATE. Once a bond has been issued at its nominal value, then the market price at which it is sold subsequently will vary in order to keep the EFFECTIVE INTEREST RATE on the bond in line with current prevailing interest rates. For example, a £100 bond with a nominal 5% interest rate paying £5 per year would have to be priced at £50 if current market interest rates were 10%, so that a buyer could earn an effective return of £5/50 = 10% on his investment.

In addition to their role as a means of borrowing money, government bonds are used by the monetary authorities as a means of regulating the MONEY SUPPLY. For example, if the authorities wish to reduce the money supply, they can issue bonds to the general public, thereby reducing the liquidity of the banking system as customers draw cheques to pay for these bonds. See also OPEN MARKET OPERATION, BANK DEPOSIT CREATION, PUBLIC SECTOR BORROWING REQUIREMENT, SPECULATIVE DEMAND FOR MONEY, CONSOLS.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005


A certificate that provides evidence of a debt or obligation.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A note obliging a corporation or governmental unit to repay, on a specified date, money loaned to it by the bondholder. The holder receives interest for the life of the bond. If a bond is backed by collateral, it is called a mortgage bond. If it is backed only by the good faith and credit rating of the issuing company, it is called a debenture.
Copyright © 2008 H&R Block. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission from H&R Block Glossary
References in periodicals archive ?
Dramatic Strategies in the Plays of Edward Bond works to determine the contours of interpretation for Bond's drama; Susan Hollis Merritt's Pinter in Play: Critical Strategies and the Plays of Harold Pinter depends on the formation of an acknowledged body of "Pinter criticism" and a well-established set of interpretive issues and strategies.
Mike Bill Camp Sheila Zofia Goszczynska Vera Angela Reed Frank David Wilson Barnes Barry Thomas Derrah Smiler Peter Dylan Richards Ellen Karen MacDonald Oliver Mikey Solis Guards Shawtane Monroe Bowen, Jason Christopher Brown, Sam Chase Prisoners Alejandro Simoes, Amar Sridstava Lucy's Mother Zuzanna Szadkowsku In 1965, Brit scribe Edward Bond shocked audiences with his play "Saved," in which a baby in a carriage is stoned to death by working-class toughs.
Sheffield Theaters' "Lear," Edward Bond's savage reworking of "King Lear," was directed by Jonathan Kent and starred Ian McDiarmid.
Despite a strong cast and some late summoning of power in the final act, this fussily constructed elaboration on British playwright Edward Bond's 1996 work about cruel business ethics, boardroom power games and family conflict is an unrewarding chore unlikely to play beyond the French director's hardcore followers.
Birthdays: Sculptor Kenneth Armitage, 84; playwright and stage director Edward Bond, 66; Virgin Group founder and chairman Richard Branson, 50; American astronaut Senator John Glenn, 79; athlete David Emery, 56; Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly, former director-general of intelligence, 85; Australian fats bowler Dennis Lillee, 51; Nelson Mandella, former President of South Africa, 83; Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, 67.
Script by Edward Bond deals with the homecoming of Odysseus to his island kingdom of Ithaca, 20 years after he left to right in the Trojan War.
"The Return," rewritten by Jordan from a screenplay by Edward Bond, deals with the homecoming of Odysseus, 20 years after he left for the Trojan War Michael Kuhn is set to bankroll the $18 million project.
Apart from Pinter, Ayckbourn, Stoppard and Hare, there's John Osborne, John Arden, Robert Holman, Caryl Churchill, Edward Bond, Sarah Daniels - there's a huge treasure-trove of plays there."
No sooner is a mewling baby introduced offstage before we can guess its grim onstage fate to come, as prescribed by a writer steeped in Edward Bond's "Saved" who no doubt sees us all as damned.
Imagine "The Crucible" refracted through the allusive milieu of Edward Bond, and you begin to get some measure of the occasion, though the most telling moment on opening night came from the evening's biggest laugh -- the simple remark, "Explain this."
Small wonder Billy wants a refuge -- however wild -- well apart from Bromley's suburban drear and from an abusive father whose blank-faced relationship with the TV could have come directly from Edward Bond's "Saved." Billy may be straight (more or less), but he's not straitlaced, which makes him an apt recruit for a heavily mascara-laden tribe whose quips run toward the following: "Are you a homosexual?" The reply: "I have sex at home."