calaboose

noun cal·a·boose \ ˈka-lə-ˌbüs \
Updated on: 22 Nov 2017

Definition of calaboose

: jail; especially : a local jail

calaboose was our Word of the Day on 06/11/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of calaboose in a Sentence

  1. fittingly, the calaboose in that one-horse town consisted of a single cell

Recent Examples of calaboose from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calaboose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Calaboose had been part of the English language for almost a century when John S. Farmer included the term in his 1889 book Americanisms - Old & New, defining it as "the common gaol or prison." Farmer also made mention of a verb calaboose, meaning "to imprison," but that term was apparently lost in the years between then and now. "Calaboose" is Spanish in origin; it's from the Spanish word calabozo, meaning "dungeon."

Origin and Etymology of calaboose

Spanish calabozo dungeon

calaboose Synonyms

Synonyms
bastille, big house [slang], bridewell, brig, jail, can, clink [slang], cooler, coop, guardroom, hock, hold, hoosegow, jailhouse, joint [slang], jug, lockup, nick [British slang], pen, penitentiary, pokey [slang], prison, quod [British slang], slam, slammer, stir [slang], stockade, tolbooth [Scottish]
Related Words
bull pen, cage, cell, hole, tank; block, ward; glasshouse [British], guardhouse, hulk (s); concentration camp, gulag, labor camp, prison camp, stalag, work camp; dungeon, keep, oubliette; reformatory, reform school, training school
Near Antonyms
outside


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