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1

penitentiary

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noun pen·i·ten·tia·ry \ˌpe-nə-ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)rē\

Definition of penitentiary

plural

penitentiaries

  1. 1 a :  an officer in some Roman Catholic dioceses vested with power from the bishop to deal with cases of a nature normally handled only by the bishop b capitalized :  a cardinal presiding over a tribunal of the Roman curia concerned with dispensations and indulgences

  2. 2 :  a public institution in which offenders against the law are confined for detention or punishment; specifically :  a state or federal prison in the United States



Examples of penitentiary in a sentence

  1. <a sentence in the state penitentiary for robbery>



Origin and Etymology of penitentiary

Middle English penitenciary, from Medieval Latin poenitentiarius, from poenitentia


First Known Use: 15th century


2

penitentiary

play
adjective pen·i·ten·tia·ry \ˌpe-nə-ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)rē, 1 also -ˈten(t)-shē-ˌer-ē\

Definition of penitentiary

  1. 1 :  penitential

  2. 2 :  of, relating to, or incurring confinement in a penitentiary




PENITENTIARY Defined for Kids

penitentiary

play
noun pen·i·ten·tia·ry \ˌpe-nə-ˈten-shə-rē\

Definition of penitentiary for Students

plural

penitentiaries

  1. :  prison




Law Dictionary

penitentiary

play
noun pen·i·ten·tia·ry \ˌpe-nə-ˈten-chə-rē\

Legal Definition of penitentiary

plural

penitentiaries

  1. :  a state or federal prison for the punishment and reformation of convicted felons — compare house of correction, house of detention, jail, lockup





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