Dictionary

1penitentiary

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

Definition of PENITENTIARY

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
:  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

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

Origin of PENITENTIARY

Middle English penitenciary, from Medieval Latin poenitentiarius, from poenitentia
First Known Use: 15th century

Related to PENITENTIARY

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

2penitentiary

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

Definition of PENITENTIARY

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

First Known Use of PENITENTIARY

1577

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi
PENITENTIARY Defined for Kids

penitentiary

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

Definition of PENITENTIARY for Kids

:  prison

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