Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Confinement or restraint by force; imprisonment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Duration; continuance; endurance.
  • noun Imprisonment; restraint of the person; involuntary confinement of any kind.
  • noun Any material supposed to be of remarkable durability, as buff-leather; especially, a strong cloth made to replace and partly to imitate buff-leather; a variety of tammy. Sometimes written durant, and also called ererlasting.
  • noun A kind of apple.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Archaic Continuance; duration. See endurance.
  • noun Imprisonment; restraint of the person; custody by a jailer; duress. Shak.
  • noun A stout cloth stuff, formerly made in imitation of buff leather and used for garments; a sort of tammy or everlasting.
  • noun In modern manufacture, a worsted of one color used for window blinds and similar purposes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete Duration.
  • noun obsolete Endurance.
  • noun archaic Imprisonment; forced confinement.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun imprisonment (especially for a long time)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English duraunce, duration, from Old French durance, from durer, to last, from Latin dūrāre; see deuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French durance, from durer ("to last").

Examples

  • As Murk languishes in durance vile, someone decides to change the game.

    19 « October « 2009 « Maria Lectrix

  • As Murk languishes in durance vile, someone decides to change the game.

    October « 2009 « Maria Lectrix

  • As Murk languishes in durance vile, someone decides to change the game.

    #1684: Ch. 18, The Brand of Silence by Johnston McCulley « Maria Lectrix

  • This means an approximately 90% reduction in durance vile and also in repetitive injuries.

    More technical notes on the All the Windwracked Stars revision

  • Not only are you willing to let a guilty terrorist sit in durance vile with no assurance that her commission would ever convene, you stated baldly that the only reason to convene such a commission would be to render a death sentence.

    Balkinization

  • I'm afraid I disagree: the threat of putting Paadilla back in durance vile hangs over any plea bargain, so the case is very much live.

    Is That Legal?: Pulling the Plug on Padilla

  • Not only are you willing to let a guilty terrorist sit in durance vile with no assurance that her commission would ever convene, you stated baldly that the only reason to convene such a commission would be to render a death sentence.

    Balkinization

  • Then said Musa, “Ask him why he is in durance of this column?”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Not only are you willing to let a guilty terrorist sit in durance vile with no assurance that her commission would ever convene, you stated baldly that the only reason to convene such a commission would be to render a death sentence.

    Balkinization

  • Not only are you willing to let a guilty terrorist sit in durance vile with no assurance that her commission would ever convene, you stated baldly that the only reason to convene such a commission would be to render a death sentence.

    Balkinization

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Citation on peeler.

    June 30, 2008

  • I could not answer him so glibly as I wished, not so much for want of words as of breath; for he hugged me so tight that I began to be alarmed for my wind pipe. As soon, however, as I had got my head out of durance, I replied, Signor cavalier, I had not the least conception that my name was known at Pegnaflor.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 1 ch. 2

    September 12, 2008

  • I found this: "restraint by or as if by physical force". I think this adds something to the extent definitions. It suggests that durance covers both being kept from leaving but also the threat that if you do try and leave that force will be used. In the 1550's, Queen Mary kept the future Queen Elizabeth in durance ... I take this to mean that she was free to do anything she like, except leave.

    See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/durance

    August 17, 2013