Definitions

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

  • noun A place for the confinement and punishment of persons convicted of crimes, especially felonies.
  • noun A state of imprisonment or captivity.
  • noun A place or condition of confinement or restriction.
  • transitive verb To confine in or as if in a prison; imprison.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To shut up in a prison; restrain from liberty; imprison, literally or figuratively.
  • noun A place of confinement or involuntary restraint; especially, a public building for the confinement or safe custody of criminals and others committed by process of law; a jail.
  • noun A prisoner.
  • noun A public prison or penitentiary.

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

  • transitive verb To imprison; to shut up in, or as in, a prison; to confine; to restrain from liberty.
  • transitive verb obsolete To bind (together); to enchain.
  • noun A place where persons are confined, or restrained of personal liberty; hence, a place or state o� confinement, restraint, or safe custody.
  • noun Specifically, a building for the safe custody or confinement of criminals and others committed by lawful authority.
  • noun See Base, n., 24.
  • noun (Law) See Note under 3d Escape, n., 4.
  • noun a prison.
  • noun (Naut.) a ship fitted up for the confinement of prisoners.
  • noun a carriage in which prisoners are conveyed to and from prison.

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

  • noun A place of long-term confinement for those convicted of serious crimes, or otherwise considered undesirable by the government.
  • noun uncountable Confinement in a prison.
  • noun colloquial Any restrictive environment, such as a harsh academy or home.
  • verb transitive to imprison

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

  • noun a prisonlike situation; a place of seeming confinement
  • noun a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, alteration (influenced by Old French pris, taken) of Latin prēnsiō, prēnsiōn-, a seizing, from *prehēnsiō, from prehēnsus, past participle of prehendere, to seize; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French prison, from Latin prehensionem, accusative singular of prehensio, from prehendō

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Stone Walls do not a Prison make,

    Nor Iron bars a Cage ;

    Mindes innocent and quiet take

    That for an Hermitage ;

    If I have freedome in my Love,

    And in my soule am free ;

    Angels alone that sore above,

    Injoy such Liberty.

    - Richard Lovelace, 'To Althea. From Prison.'

    February 7, 2009