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Bind can have three meanings in World of Warcraft:

  1. To change an item, so it cannot be traded to another character (or put up for auction at the Auction House). Binding an item makes it Soulbound.
  2. To set the teleport destination of your  [Hearthstone], as in bind point, i.e. which Inn your hearthstone will teleport you to.
  3. To set a keyboard character as a hotkey.

Binding items

Many items will become "bound" to a character when they are equipped, or even picked up. Once Soulbound, items cannot be traded or auctioned. A warning pops up before you perform an action that binds an item to your player. See below for the main binding types.

Some new players might be a little apprehensive when they first see "Using/equipping this item will bind it to you". There is no need to fear, the item is simply bound to the inventory of your character - not stuck on or to your character. You can still unequip it and sell it to a vendor, but you will not be able to give it to another player, sell it in the Auction House, or send it through the mail.

Item binding types

All items are classified by how they "bind" to a player. There are five item binding types:

Bind on Equip (BoE) 
Items of this type become Soulbound to the first player to equip the item.
Bind on Pickup (BoP) 
Items of this type become Soulbound to a player after being acquired by the player. A warning appears before you roll or pickup a BoP item.
Bind on Use (BoU) 
Items of this type become Soulbound after first used. This is used for objects that are used but do not need to be equipped, like small pets. A warning will appear before it binds.
Bind to Account (BtA) 
Items of this type become Account Bound after being acquired by the player. After that they can only be mailed among different characters of the same account and server, including those of opposing faction. This is used for heirloom items, as well as several other unique items such as collector's edition pets. Added in 3.0.
No bind 
These items can freely change hands. Examples of this are recipe materials and most consumables such as health and mana potions, health stones, food and water, etc.
Quest Item 
Formally, this is a binding property value although there is no particular action that make these items bound. However, these items have exactly the same restrictions soulbound items have.

Binding to an Inn

Pointer hearth on 32x32.png interact with innkeeper Pointer hearth off 32x32.png innkeeper out of range

Talk to an innkeeper at any inn to change your bind point (the place where you will teleport to when you use your  [Hearthstone]).