concentration camp


: a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard
used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other prisoners
The Nazi soldiers hauled [Mordechai] Strigler off to a concentration camp, and carved swastikas into his cheeks and forehead with a razor blade. Over the next five years, he was sent from one concentration camp or slave-labor camp to another.David Remnick
She ended up dying in a concentration camp, just a few months before she would have been liberated.Marilyn Reynolds
The V2 killed thousands of British civilians while 20,000 concentration camp inmates died as slave labourers during its manufacture in the closing stages of the second world war.Anna Tomforde et al.
see also death camp

Examples of concentration camp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the war his father returns from a concentration camp in Austria. Matt Thompson, Spin, 10 Sep. 2023 Baeck had been imprisoned during World War II at the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Douglas Starr, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023 The Auschwitz concentration camp was one of many locations where Adolf Hilter’s Nazi regime brought Jews and others from all over Europe to be starved, humiliated, terrorized and murdered in gas chambers. Rhea Mogul, CNN, 28 July 2023 In one of the film’s most chilling scenes, Hedwig is showing her mother around the Höss family garden, their little piece of domestic bliss built just yards from the concentration camp. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Sep. 2023 Around the same time, reports emerged of the Nazi killing of over 7,000 Jewish prisoners from a nearby concentration camp. Nicole Eaton, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 Speakers included Scheller, Karin Babbitt (daughter of Dina Babbitt, portrait artist at Auschwitz), Edmundo Godinez (a local graphic artist working with Scheller and Midler) and Ben Midler, a 95-year-old survivor of various concentration camps. Hannah Ramirez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 July 2023 The Jewish commando who rescued his parents from a Nazi concentration camp However, there was little inclination to fix the situation, as Roosevelt discovered at a Cabinet meeting six days after the annexation. Gordon F. Sander, Washington Post, 15 July 2023 Read full article At 15, after surviving three Nazi camps, Mr. Helfgott was one of 301 child survivors, most of them boys, who had been freed from concentration camps and introduced to new lives. Richard Sandomir,, 29 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'concentration camp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of concentration camp was in 1901

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Cite this Entry

“Concentration camp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

concentration camp

: a camp where persons (as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained

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